Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Canidate Goes to the Rams with the 31st Overall Selection
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 15, 2000
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Arizona's career leading rusher Trung Canidate was selected by the Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams with the 31st overall pick (first pick of the second round) in Saturday's NFL Draft.

Canidate rushed 253 times for 1,602 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1999. He also did something in his three years as regular running back which might be difficult to measure. He averaged 43.8 yards on career touchdown runs alone. He gained 1,139 yards rushing on 26 career TD runs. Needless to say, his home-run hitting ability may be hard to duplicate. He leaves Arizona as the career rushing leader (3,824), the single-season rushing leader (1,602), the single-game rushing leader (288), the 100-yard games in a season leader (10), and the career 100-yard games leader (18). He averaged 6.33 yards on 604 career attempts. Like Northcutt, Canidate's season and career figures have surpassed those of one of the University of Arizona's legendary football figures B Art AThe Cactus Comet@ Luppino (1953-56). Trung is No. 5 in Pac-10 career rushing, ahead of a bunch of outstanding runners and trailing only Charles White, Marcus Allen, Darrin Nelson and Napolean Kaufman.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams had the luxury Saturday of taking a player to fill in during Marshall Faulk's rare breathers.

With the final pick of the first round the Rams stretched to take Arizona running back Trung Canidate, whom they're counting on to make the NFL's top offense even more explosive. The Rams scored 526 points last year, third highest in NFL history, and new coach Mike Martz wants more.

``Absolutely. There's no law against scoring points,'' said Martz, the offensive coordinator last year.

Faulk didn't seem to need much help last year, becoming only the second player in NFL history to amass 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. He broke Barry Sanders' total yardage record with 2,429 yards and was named offensive player of the year.

Canidate was projected by many as a second- or third-round pick. And a greater area of need for the Rams, who admittedly entered the draft searching for quality backups, was offensive line.

But Martz said Canidate ``took my breath away'' when he ran a 4.25 40-yard dash for him and running backs coach Bobby Jackson last month. He also said there will be plenty of offensive linemen available later in the draft.

``He ran the fastest 40 I've ever seen on grass or artificial surface,'' Martz said. ``Nobody runs a 4.25.''

Canidate, who is 5-11 and 203 pounds, had a school single-season record 1,602 yards with a 6.3-yard average and 11 touchdowns as a senior. He also set a school career record with 3,824 yards.

He's named after a character in a 1970s movie, ``Green Eyes,'' and has no shortage of confidence. He took a nap just before the Rams called and spoke as if he and Faulk would battle for playing time.

``I said all along I'm a first-round pick,'' Canidate said. ``I have tremendous respect for Marshall Faulk. I love the guy and I love what he does, but I also love what I can do.''

Martz said the pick will prolong Faulk's career. He also said whenever Faulk came out, the offense had too much of a dropoff.

``You've got to spell him in every quarter,'' Martz said. ``Trung may take five rushes away from Marshall and a pass or two. By utilizing him in a real smart way, I think Marshall's productivity will continue to climb.''

The Rams concluded a marathon first round that lasted 5 hours, 30 minutes. The first five seasons after their move to the Midwest, the team entered the draft with the sixth pick, so it was a lot more waiting than usual.

``There's a big poker game going on out there,'' Martz joked.

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