Dec. 13, 2011
Former Arizona All-American defensive tackle Rob Waldrop's induction into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame last week in New York gave UA three players and five total members in the prestigious society.
Waldrop, who helped UA to its then best-ever 10-2 record his senior year in 1993, lettered at Arizona four years beginning in 1990 and capped his career with the Outland Trophy and what became the inaugural Bronko Nagurski Award, the FWAA's Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Waldrop joins UA linebacker Ricky Hunley (1980-83), selected in 1998, and safety Chuck Cecil (1984-87), chosen for the NFFHOF in 2009. Former coaches Jim Young (1973-76) was elected to the Hall in 1999 and Darrell Mudra (1967-68) was elected in 2000.
He was a unanimous first-team All-America selection in 1993 and a consensus first-team pick in 1992 when he helped create the Wildcat defense that became known as "Desert Swarm."
He was Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 1993 and winner of the Pac-10's Morris Trophy as selected by opposing offensive linemen in 1992. He earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors in both those seasons and MVP of the 1992 Sun Bowl. His play in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl helped Arizona defeat Miami 29-0 to cap the 10-2 record that held until the 1998 Wildcats finished 12-1 for the best-ever UA mark.
Waldrop collected 53 tackles his senior year, with 14 for losses and eight sacks, from an interior position that helped plug the middle in the Cats' renowned eagle-flex defense. In all, he finished with an amazing 164 tackles, 44 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks, which rank fifth in UA history.
He was drafted in '94 by the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, played two seasons and an additional year with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He currently is a law enforcement office in Southern California.
The three Wildcats played for teams coached by the late Larry Smith (Hunley and Cecil) and Dick Tomey (Cecil and Waldrop). Cecil was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and all three were Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year during their careers along with various All-America citations.