The preseason is also Watch List Season, and Arizona is racking up the early mentions for various national awards.
The latest Wildcats to get included on preseason watch lists are kicker Tyler Loop and punter Kyle Ostendorp, who are in the running for the Lou Groza and Ray Guy awards, respectively.
Loop, a junior, is 30 of 33 on field goals and has made all 50 PATs in his UA career. Last season he was 18 of 21 on 3-pointers, including a long of 48.
Ostendorp, a senior, is on pace to break the UA career record for punting average. On 113 kicks he’s averaging 45.5 yards, far ahead of Nick Folk’s school mark of 44.19 from 2003-06.
Arizona has had one Groza winner in its history, Steve McLaughlin in 1994, but has never had a Ray Guy winner.
The UA has also produced an Outland Trophy winner, that being Rob Waldrop in 1993, and this year it has two preseason candidates for the award given to college football’s top lineman.
Senior Jordan Morgan and sophomore Jonah Savaiinaea are on the preseason list, one of about a dozen schools (and one of two in the Pac-12, along with Utah, with multiple selections.
Morgan is coming back from knee surgery but is expected to be ready to return to his left tackle spot for the Sept. 2 opener against NAU. Savaiinaea, who was a Freshman All-American at right guard last year, is being moved to right tackle.
Previous watch list nods for Arizona went to quarterback Jayden de Laura and receiver Jacob Cowing for the Maxwell Award, given to college football’s top player. Cowing figures to also make the Biletnikoff (best receiver) list that comes out on Monday.