Nov. 8, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - Nineteen University of Arizona seniors will play the final home game of their careers against Stanford at UA's 85th Homecoming this Saturday.
Seven are fifth-year seniors who were part of UA's Insight.com Bowl program in 1997 and the Cats' 1998 Holiday Bowl victory over Nebraska -- center/guard Steven Grace, tight end and kick blocker Peter Hansen, wide receiver Malosi Leonard, defensive end Alex Luna, safety Brandon Nash, defensive tackle Anthony Thomas and defensive end Eli Wnek.
Ten others came to UA as transfers from junior college programs, including cornerback Tony Banks, offensive guard Kevin Barry, cornerback Jermaine Chatman, fullback Mike Detwiler, defensive end Johnny Jackson, safety Zaharius Johnson, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, inside linebacker Shelton Ross, defensive end Austin Uku and defensive lineman Dusty Alexander.
Three joined the Arizona program as walk-ons -- Alexander, wide receiver Nick Fluery and Hansen, though Hansen will be a four-year letterman, Fleury will have earned two letters and Alexander is likely to letter this year in his first action, having played in games both as a reserve offensive and defensive lineman.
This season 14 have started games -- Banks, Barry, Chatman, Detwiler, Grace, Jackson, Leonard, Luna, Marshall, running back Leo Mills, Nash, Ross, Thomas and Uku. Wnek, injured in preseason, is rounding back into form and was the expected starter on one side as a defensive end, while Fleury, Hansen and Johnson each start on UA special teams and see rotation play.
Six seniors will be four-year lettermen, including Grace, Leonard, Luna, Nash, Thomas and Wnek, while Mills will leave UA with three varsity letters.
Additionally, three senior support personnel will work their final home game against the Cardinal -- manager Kevin Oppelt and athletic trainers Robyn Levenson and Katherine Bello.
The UA senior class, with hometowns and letters won:
Defensive tackle Dusty Alexander - Marana, Ariz., 1L - Played both offense and defense this year
Cornerback Anthony Banks - Los Angeles, 3L - Broke up five passes this year
Offensive guard Kevin Barry - Racine, Wis., 2L - Two-year transfer starter
Cornerback Jermaine Chatman - Compton, Calif., 2L - Two interceptions vs. Washington
Fullback Mike Detwiler - Truckee, Calif., 2L - Two career TDs on five carries or catches
Wide receiver Nick Fleury - San Rafael, Calif., 2L - Special teams' starter
Center/guard Steven Grace - Honolulu, Hawai'i, 4L - UA's best offensive lineman
Tight end Peter Hansen - Palo Alto, Calif., 4L - Seven career blocked place kicks
Defensive end Johnny Jackson - San Diego, 2L - Leads team with six sacks
Strong safety Zaharius Johnson - Bradenton, Fla, 3L - Leads DBs with three sacks, has 22 ST tackles
Wide receiver Malosi Leonard - Palmdale, Calif., 4L - 25 catches for 480 yards
Defensive end Alex Luna - San Fernando, Calif., 4L - 74 career tackles, eight sacks
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall - Oceanside, Calif., 2L - Pac-10 record 99-yard TD catch this year
Halfback Leo Mills - Humble, Texas, 3L - 282-yard all-purpose at UW in 2001 is ninth-best ever at UA
Strong safety Brandon Nash- Beverly Hills, Calif. 4L - 40 tackles, 57-yard fumble return for score in 2001
Linebacker Shelton Ross - Kansas City, Mo., 3L - Physical force inside in 27 career games
Defensive tackle Anthony Thomas - Pasadena, Calif., 4L - 68 career hits inside, played as true frosh
Defensive end Austin Uku - Lomita, Calif., 2L - Fumble return for score this year
Defensive end Eli Wnek - Glendale, Ariz., 4L - Injury thwarted big year, but team's biggest leader