Nov. 19, 2001
EUGENE, Ore. - Arizona graduate defensive end Eli Wnek and junior quarterback Jason Johnson were named to the 2001 Verizon Academic All-District VIII Football Team today.
Wnek was selected to the region's first team and Johnson earned second-team honors.
Wnek, 22, of Glendale, Ariz., graduated in May with a degree in sociology and carried a 3.80 cumulative grade point average. He's taking graduate courses at the UA while finishing his fourth year of playing eligibility. He battled hard to come back this season from a foot stress fracture in the summer to appear in the Cats' last four games. Expected to start as an edge rusher this year after two seasons as a fullback and H-back, Wnek's been contributing as a top reserve and should see significant action in the Wildcats' season finale at Arizona State Satuday.
Johnson, 21, has started all 10 UA games this season after a couple years as an understudy. He's a senior-level student academically and carries a 3.79 grade average in business management. His single-season passing yardage and completions have put him on the UA Top 10 season charts, along with his 17 touchdown passes.
Wnek will become eligible for the Verizon Academic All-America team to be voted on in mid December. Members of the College Sports information Directors of America from schools in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Hawaii and British Columbia participated in the regional voting for the All-District team. National members will vote for the All-America team.
Wnek and safety Brandon Nash earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors last year, as did Wnek as a freshman in 1998. Arizona's last Academic All-District and All-American selection was center Wayne Wyatt in 1996.