A youth movement was a big part of Arizona’s plans for the 2022 season, with nine true freshmen starting at least one game and another dozen seeing significant playing time. And one of those youngsters has received national recognition for his play in his first year of college football.
Offensive lineman Jonah Savaiinaea has been named to the Football Writers Association of America’s Freshman All-American team, the first UA player to earn that honor since 2017 and the first on the offensive line in more than 15 years.
Savaiinaea started all 12 guards at right guard, the only true freshman on the team to start every game. He played 791 of 845 offensive snaps, allowing only two sacks all season while helping Arizona put up stellar numbers.
A former 3-star prospect from Hawaii, Savaiinaea was an honorable mention on the Pac-12’s all-conference team.
He is the UA’s first offensive lineman tabbed to the FWAA Freshman All-American team since 2006, when Eben Britton was honored. Britton went on to get picked in the 2009 NFL Draft, Arizona’s last drafted offensive lineman.
Other past FWAA Freshman All-American honorees from Arizona are cornerback Antonie Cason in 2004, punter Keenyn Crier in 2007, wide receiver Nate Phillips in 2013 and defensive end Kylan Wilborn and linebacker Colin Schooler in 2017.