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Arizona LB Jacob Manu named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week

arizona-wildcats-football-jacob-manu-pac12-freshman-weekly-award-ucla-servite-tetairoa-mcmillan-2022 Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arizona’s commitment to playing as many true freshmen as possible continued during the upset win at UCLA, with 16 first-year Wildcats playing including seven as starters.

That included linebacker Jacob Manu, who made his fourth consecutive start and tied a career high with 10 tackles as well as a pass breakup and two quarterback hurries. Those numbers were good enough to land him Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.

The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Manu is the second Arizona player to win Freshman of the Week this season, with wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan doing so twice. They were teammates at Anaheim’s Servite High School along with fellow UA freshmen Noah Fifita and Keyan Burnett.

For the season, Manu’s 43 tackles are sixth-most on the team while his 13 QB pressures are tied for second-best despite playing the ninth-most snaps

“Clearly, Jacob Manu has taken on not just the role of affecting the game but being the leader of the defense,” UA coach Jedd Fisch said Monday.

Arizona is one of two Pac-12 schools with multiple player winning Freshman of the Week this season. The other is Washington State, the UA’s opponent on Saturday, which has seen running back Jaylen Jenkins and defensive back Jaden Hicks get honored.

Combined with wins by quarterback Jayden de Laura (Player of the Week) and edge rushers Hunter Echols and Jalen Harris (Defensive Lineman of the Week), Arizona has won six weekly awards this season. That’s one more than the program earned between 2018-21.