By Pete Donovan, The Lott Trophy
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--“The lasting image of the defining moment of the 2006-07 Arizona Wildcat athletic year is Antoine
Mark Stoops was running out of adjectives trying to describe his All-American cornerback Antoine Cason.
“He’s a tremendous person, a unique kid, a model citizen,” said the
Cason may not win the fourth annual Lott Trophy (he’s one of 42 players on the watch list), but Stoops might win cheerleader of the year.
Of course, Cason MAY well win The Lott since he does exhibit all those character qualities needed for the award as well as his undeniable football prowess on the field.
The 6-0, 185-pound senior from Los Alamitos (Ca.), Cason won All Pac-10 honors as a junior, was a semifinalist for The Thorpe Award (the nation’s top defensive back) and is a pre-season All-American for 2007. The Wildcat team captain is rated the No. 1 defensive back in the country by Rivals.com. He has started every game he’s suited up for ?- beginning in his freshman season when he was the conference’s Frosh Defensive Player of the Year.
That 39-yard return of an interception for a touchdown against
There were those Wildcat fans who feared Cason and his 4.4 40 speed would opt for the NFL after the 2006 season, but the 21-year-old recognized the unfinished business in
"I always said if there was any doubt in my mind, I would come back to school in a heartbeat," Cason said. "The team is shaping up really well and it's a good thing to be a part of."
Cason graduated in December in three-and-a-half years. "It feels good to be that close, and I didn't want that to slip away," Cason said.
"I think his stock is going up and up," Stoops said. "He will be the premier cornerback in college next season."
In addition to all his hard work on the football field, Cason doesn’t rest when the whistle blows.
He’s the co-president of the Arizona Student-Athlete Advisory Board, ran on the track team last spring and serves as an usher in his church on Sundays.
“Football is almost a hobby to Antoine,” said Stoops. “He will lead a very successful and full life whenever his football career is over in whatever endeavor he applies himself to.”
Cason's Year-by-Year Numbers
4 Interceptions, 6 PD, 3 FF 2005
3 INT, 5 PD 2006
3 INT, 7 PD, 1 FR- 2007
10 INT, 18 PD, 3 FF, FR