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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Start together, end together”

Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The No. 9 Arizona Wildcats hosted the Oregon State Beavers at Arizona Stadium Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, in Tucson, Ariz. Oregon State upset the home team 27-29.

They say opposites attract.

From looking at the hair styles of defensive ends Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore, the tight mowhawk of Elmore compared to the flowing locks of Reed would make you think that the two are as opposite as can be.

But once you get past the hair, you’ll notice that they’re actually very similar, both on and off the football field.

“”We’ve been around each other for so long I just really think that we know what types of moves we do and what types of football players we are so I think that’s advantage to us,”” Elmore said of their comparable playing styles.

Their playful back-and-forth banter off the field turns into an unspoken drive coming off the edge for the two fifth-year seniors. Both standing at least 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, Reed and Elmore are known for being the force behind a dominant Arizona defensive line.

They’ve also have had nearly identical paths as Wildcats, beginning before they arrived at Arizona.

Both even had experience on the opposite side of the ball in high school. Reed was recruited to Arizona as a H-back and Elmore saw time on the defensive line, as a tight end and even dabbled at quarterback before arriving at Arizona.

Now, the two ends will lead a young Wildcat defense in 2010 and compete to see who can get to the quarterback first.

“”We’re both trying to get there,”” said Reed. “”See who can get the sack first, so it’s competitive in that sense but it’s a lot of fun.””

Nicknamed Hulk Hogan (Elmore) and Dog the Bounty Hunter (Reed), both arrived at Arizona in 2006. The fifth-year seniors redshirted their first season as Wildcats. Since the 2007 season, both Elmore and Reed have had consistent playing time. In 2009, they combined for 12.5 sacks on the season.

This season, the pressure of the defensive line has shown what Reed and Elmore can do. Their leadership will be crucial in anchoring a young Arizona defense and helping it to rebuild after an embarrissing performance against Oregon State last week.

They’ve developed into a dominant tandem — Elmore has 17 total tackles and 1.5 sacks and Reed has 16 total tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Their combined skills were showcased in the final minutes of Arizona’s victory over Iowa. Elmore and Reed combined to sack Hawkeye quarterback Ricky Stanzi for a loss of eight yards.

Elmore credits their combined success with all the time they’ve spent together.  

“”Just playing together for such a long time … it does add that extra dynamic piece to the puzzle that guys that have only been playing together for a year or two don’t have,”” said Elmore. “”Just playing together for so long kind of helps you out in that sense.””

Reed and Elmore have the advantage of playing on the field, but it’s more than just logging hours on the field. It’s the experience of playing together that sets them apart. To say that Reed and Elmore are merely friends or just teammates would be an understatement.  

“”They became real close friends and I think they’re just real tight,”” said special teams and defensive ends coach Jeff Hammerschmidt. “”I don’t know if they double date or anything like that, but they spend a lot of time together watching film and being around each other at team functions and stuff.””

Their chemistry is obvious. For the young defense at Arizona, their leadership will be something for it to lean on.

“”Just a bunch of non-verbal, that’s what it’s got to be, especially in a loud stadium,”” Reed said about his advantage of playing with Elmore. “”At home you’ve got to be able to communicate without screaming at them because they can’t hear you.””

Elmore and Reed, one of the most forceful duos in the Pac-10, have just one more shot to use their experience and friendship to their benefit.

“”Too long,”” Reed joked about the length of playing time with Elmore as he shot him a glance while they enjoyed Gatorade together after a practice.

“”He’ll miss me when I’m gone,”” Elmore fired back.

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