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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Cason to keep his talents at UA, stay for senior year”

    Cornerback Antoine Cason returns the game-winning interception for a touchdown in Arizonas 24-20 win over then-No. 8 California on Nov. 11 at Arizona Stadium. Cason announced yesterday that he will return for his senior year.
    Cornerback Antoine Cason returns the game-winning interception for a touchdown in Arizona’s 24-20 win over then-No. 8 California on Nov. 11 at Arizona Stadium. Cason announced yesterday that he will return for his senior year.

    Antoine Cason isn’t going anywhere.

    The junior cornerback who had filed exploratory paperwork with the NFL regarding the draft announced yesterday he will return to school for his senior campaign next season, saying that he “”came here with the mindset to … be a part of a team that’s turning a program around.””

    “”What I saw last year, it really influenced me,”” Cason said of Arizona’s late-season turnaround, a three-game winning streak in November. “”I didn’t want to help, help, help and then leave before we got to our goals.

    “”I feel this program is headed in the right direction real soon, and I want to be a part of that.””

    Even so, the Long Beach, Calif., native couldn’t resist giving his head coach, Mike Stoops, a little scare on Wednesday.

    “”I’m really excited about (Cason’s decision) – I wasn’t for a minute (Wednesday) when he told me he was leaving,”” Stoops said. “”My heart started to flutter, in a bad way. He held it out on me for about a minute, so I was pretty upset at the time.””

    Said a smiling Cason, “”I had to get him one good time before he gets back at me.””

    Cason finished with 62 tackles and seven pass breakups and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. He was also a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award this past season, given each year to the nation’s top defensive back.

    “”I think his (draft) stock is going to go up and up,”” Stoops said. “”I think he’s the premier corner coming back next year.””

    A number of mock drafts had Cason going early in the first round of April’s NFL Draft, and the potential of a high selection intrigued him.

    “”There was a point where, of course, you really think about it,”” Cason said. “”But I was always taught patience in my life, and I feel that there were some goals that I still wanted to achieve in college football, such as (winning) the Thorpe Award.””

    “”Nothing is guaranteed with the NFL. You never know,”” he added later. “”I always said if there was any doubt in my mind, I would come back to school in a heartbeat.””

    Cason is scheduled to graduate a semester early, in December, with a degree in political science.

    “”He has a chance to go out like a Tedy Bruschi, all the great ones here. That’s the type of player he is,”” Stoops said. “”If we can accomplish and keep building off of what we did last year, then his legacy will be cemented.

    “”When we get this thing turned around, people are going to associate that with him.””

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