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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Grigsby’s uneventful departure

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The No. 15 Wildcats took on the UCLA Bruins in a Pacific 10 Conference college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Arizona held off a late fourth-quarter push to beat the home team 29-21.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The No. 15 Wildcats took on the UCLA Bruins in a Pacific 10 Conference college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Arizona held off a late fourth-quarter push to beat the home team 29-21.

When Arizona head coach Mike Stoops proudly discussed his team’s successful senior class at his weekly press conference on Monday, one significant name was omitted — Nic Grigsby.

Stoops mentioned the likely suspects such as Colin Baxter, Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore and even went on to name second-string defensive end D’Aundre Reed and starting offensive guard Conan Amituanai.

But there was no mention of the running back who used to strike fear in opposing defenses and entered the season as Arizona’s No. 1 back.

It wasn’t that Stoops forgot about the once electric back — although the Pacific 10 Conference has during his recent disappearing act — Grigsby simply hasn’t been a factor in 2010.

As in the past, injuries have slightly hampered his season. But he was healthy for the most part and has been a shell of the back that ran for 1,153 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2008.

Even an injury-riddled Grigsby ripped off a long burst from time to time in 2009, but he’s been MIA this season since the first few games. The shifty senior has only collected one 100-plus-yard game this season and it came against The Citadel in the second game of the year.

In the last nine games he’s played, Grigsby’s averaged a lowly 38.4 yards per game to go along with only three rushing touchdowns, after scoring five in the first two games.

This was a running back that was finally healthy and 15 pounds heavier heading into the season. This was a back that changed into a better person off the field and it was supposed to show on the field.

But Grigsby lost the starting role to Keola Antolin about halfway through the season, and sub-par play ridden with injury put a damper on the Whittier, Calif., native that was figured to be a sure-fire NFL prospect after his sophomore season.

Although Grigsby said that even Stoops had seen his improvements as a teammate and leader, this certainly isn’t the fairy-tale ending he was hoping for.

There’s a reason his name wasn’t mentioned at the press conference. All former behavioral problems aside, Grigsby simply never lived up to expectations.

He isn’t a name you immediately think of when you imagine an impact senior. He doesn’t fall into that group with the Baxters and Elmores and Reeds.

Stoops said, “”The Colin Baxters, the Adam Grants, they carried on where maybe Eben (Britton), or Antoine (Cason) or Spencer (Larsen) picked up this team and really have carried us.””

Not the Grigsbys of the team.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder has done a lot for Arizona’s program as a whole on the field. He’s up there with the all-time rushing leaders and made Arizona fans hold their breath on a nightly basis.

But that electricity is gone and Grigsby will make such a quiet exit on Thursday that even his head coach didn’t think to mention him.

— Mike Schmitz is a marketing junior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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