By the time his UA career is over, Tetairoa McMillan figures to collect quite a few awards. But you never forget your first.
The highly touted wide receiver has been named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after his performance in Saturday’s 43-20 win over Colorado, in which he had five catches for a career-high 90 yards and a touchdown.
It’s the first Freshman of the Week award for Arizona in football since quarterback Grant Gunnell in 2019. The last Wildcat receiver to be honored with a weekly conference award was Cayleb Jones in 2014.
The 6-foot-5 McMillan, Arizona’s highest-ranked signee in program history, had his usual strong game at receiver with his third TD of the season as well as a one-handed grab that he tipped to himself over the middle. He also completed an 11-yard pass to Jayden de Laura on a trick play.
UA coach Jedd Fisch said it was McMillan’s most complete game thanks to his improved blocking on run plays. His 73.6 blocking grade, per Pro Football Focus, was his best of the season and more than double his grade during a home loss to Mississippi State last month.
“When you watch T-Mac this past week, the blocking showed up,” Fisch said. “We used him on a critical 3rd and 3 where we ran a quarterback sweep play where he blocked the defensive end and did a really nice job with that.”
McMillan is the fourth Arizona player to win a weekly Pac-12 award. De Laura won Pac-12 Player of the Week after the season-opening win at San Diego, with Jalen Harris earning Defensive Lineman of the Week from that game, and Hunter Echols was named Defensive Lineman of the Week after the win over North Dakota State.
De Laura had a great case to win POW again after throwing for 484 yards and a school record-tying TD passes, but he was beaten out by UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. DTR threw for 315 yards and three TDs and ran for 53 yards and a score in the Bruins’ 40-32 win over previously unbeaten Washington on Friday.