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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcat Spotlight: Five Arizona athletes to bring the attention to Tucson in the upcoming season

Paul Magloire Jr.

The football season will be a mystery until Arizona’s first game of the season against BYU at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sept. 3.

The concerns swarm on the defensive side of the ball with the NFL departures of Scooby Wright III and Will Parks.

Hybrids between linebackers and safeties are the hottest trend right now and after collecting 72 tackles last season, senior Paul Magloire Jr. will look to pick up where he left off and conduct a final resume for the 2017 NFL Draft.

Bleacher Report ranks Magloire as the best NFL prospect coming out of Arizona for the draft. He has the body of a linebacker with the feet and agility of a defensive back, so the physical specimen will turn heads on the gridiron in the Pac-12 Conference.

Bring out the popcorn at Arizona Stadium for the new stingy defense.

Allonzo Trier

It’s no question the Wildcats didn’t perform to the expectations of a blueblood program last season and with high hopes to get into the NBA, guard Allonzo Trier will return for his sophomore campaign with some unfinished business.

Trier was the Wildcats’ leading scorer averaging 14.8 points per game last season, but broke his hand early in Pac-12 play, causing him to miss a month of action. He returned with a vengeance, scoring in double-figures in all but two matchups the rest of the season.

With arguably the program’s best recruiting class coming in, Trier will be the ringleader and a veteran that Sean Miller will lean on in late-game situations.

Madison and McKenna Witt

The sand volleyball program at Arizona is still in its infancy, but thanks to the Witt twins, the bar for Arizona is set very high for years to come.

The senior sisters were named to the 2016 AVCA All-American team and held a 26-4 (8-0 at home) record while going undefeated in 17 matchups. The pair also went 8-3 against top-10 opponents.

The Witt twins were named to the Pac-12 All-Conference team and carried the Wildcats to a No. 6 ranking.

The sisters return for their final year in Tucson looking to not only earn Arizona’s first conference championship, but the school’s first national title.

Katiyana Mauga

Mauga will return for her senior season with Arizona softball and is arguably the most decorated player Mike Candrea has had. Mauga was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, already 14th in home runs in Arizona history before her junior season, and was named to the ESPN Preseason All-American team.

Mauga is an outfielder, but has mastered the craft of hitting dingers. She has a 5-foot-2 frame, but don’t let that fool you for the power she contains when she stands in the batters box.

Heading into the final weekend of Pac-12 play, Mauga was tied for ninth in the country with 18 home runs, and that number has a great possibility of exceeding new heights for the upcoming season.

Jordan Gumberg

The Arizona men’s golf program has been in shambles recently, but young star Jordan Gumberg provides a ray of sunshine for head coach Jim Anderson moving forward.

Gumberg rose to the top when George Cunningham dealt with injuries, and captured the Wyoming Cowboy Classic to become the first Wildcat to win a tournament since Tarquin MacManus in 2011.

He also finished in second place at the Pac-12 Tournament and earned Pac-12 Honorable Mention. Anderson’s right-hand man for the 2016 season will likely ramp up his leadership for the upcoming year and assist the program back to the Pac-12 spotlight.

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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