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Arizona football: Colin Schooler, J.J. Taylor earn Pac-12 Freshmen of the Year honors

Just the second and third Wildcats to do so

NCAA Football: Washington State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

For just the second and third time in the Pac-10/12 era, the Arizona Wildcats have the conference’s freshman of the year.

Colin Schooler, who led Arizona with 60 solo tackles, was named the conference’s defensive freshman of the year. J.J. Taylor, who rushed for 828 yards on 136 carries, was named co-offensive freshman of the year with Stanford lineman Walker Little.

Schooler finished his freshman campaign with 88 total tackles (13.5 TFL), four sacks, two interceptions (one TD), and a forced fumble. His 13.5 TFLs were four more than any other player on the team, and shows that he’ll likely be the cornerstone for a defense that will grow together over the next couple of years.

Taylor played in three games last year, but suffered a broken ankle against Washington, which resulted in him being a redshirt freshman this year. The 5-foot-6 running back stayed healthy this year and averaged 6.1 yards per carry. He was second on the team in rushing yards behind Khalil Tate, and was able to find the endzone five times.

The only other Arizona player to be named Freshman of the Year in the Pac-10/12 era was Mike Thomas in 2005.

However, the Wildcats did not have any players put on the conference’s first or second teams despite having the most prolific offense. Arizona had six honorable mentions. They were: Schooler, Tate, Jacob Alsadek, Shun Brown, Nathan Eldridge, and Nick Wilson.

These six guys will be back in action on December 27th when Arizona takes on Purdue in the Foster Farms Bowl.