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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dykes confirmed as coaching candidate

    UA athletic director Jim Livengood confirmed yesterday that Texas Tech co-offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes will interview for the Arizona football team’s offensive coordinator opening and that the Wildcats also have other candidates in mind.

    Livengood would not say how many other people will pitch for the job Mike Canales vacated when he resigned Monday or give out their names.

    “”We don’t do our staff hiring through the news media,”” he said. “”That, I think, would not be an appropriate decision.””

    Livengood said he understood Dykes was set to arrive in Tucson yesterday evening and stay through tomorrow.

    His comments contradicted those of an employee in the Texas Tech football office, who said Dykes traveled to Tucson on Wednesday.

    “”He’s not in town yet,”” Livengood said at approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday. “”I think he will be later today.””

    Livengood said he and Arizona head coach Mike Stoops have discussed a few candidates to replace Canales, including Dykes.

    Livengood declined to say what he would like to see in a new offensive coordinator.

    “”That information, something like that, that should come from Mike,”” Livengood said. “”Am I involved in the process? Yes. But the football coach, that’s the reason he’s the football coach.””

    Stoops was out of town recruiting yesterday and could not be reached for comment. He is expected back in the UA football office today.

    Livengood also would not say whether other members of Arizona’s current coaching staff might be gone next season or any factors that might lead to a football coach not returning.

    Cason, Folk make Rivals.com All-America teams

    Junior cornerback Antoine Cason and redshirt senior punter Nick Folk were named to Rivals.com All-America teams yesterday, three days after being named to the All-Pacific 10 Conference first team.

    Cason was selected for the Rivals.com second team, and Folk earned third-team honors for his success at both placekicker and punter.

    Rivals.com is a national recruiting Web site. The Associated Press All-America team is typically announced in mid-December.

    Cason tied for the team lead in interceptions with three and became the first Wildcat to be named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week twice in a season.

    He was named to Rivals.com’s Freshman All-America Team in 2004.

    “”It feels good,”” Cason said in a phone interview yesterday. “”It feels good to be on an All-America team knowing I put all my work into becoming a better player (this season).””

    Folk made a career-high 15 field goals in 20 attempts this season, including his final nine tries. He had converted 15 field goals in his career coming into 2006.

    Folk led the Pacific 10 Conference in punting at 44.0 yards per kick after being given the starting job shortly before the season.

    He relieved injured punter Danny Baugher in Arizona’s seventh game in 2005 and averaged 44.7 yards on 22 attempts.

    “”I could have done better on field goals, but with the punting, (this season) exceeded my expectations,”” Folk said in a phone interview yesterday. “”Coming into the season, I didn’t think I would be having to punt, so I would say it’s been a pretty good season overall.””

    Folk said he has only two more days of class before wrapping up a marketing degree, after which his thoughts will turn to the professional ranks, in more ways than one.

    Besides training four to five times weekly to ready himself for workouts with NFL teams, Folk said he plans to spend the spring learning about athletic administration in an internship under Livengood.

    Folk said Livengood will give him a flexible schedule in light of the difficulties Baugher, currently a New England Patriot, had fitting school into a grueling workout schedule last spring.

    Baugher, a friend and former roommate of Folk, did not complete his marketing degree after being signed by the Cincinnati Bengals in May but has said he intends to finish his studies.

    With a degree a foregone conclusion for Folk, he’s excited at the prospects of joining an NFL team in the coming months.

    “”For sure,”” he said. “”But we’ll see what happens. I’m not sure what’s going to happen.””

    After Arizona’s season-ending 28-14 loss to ASU on Saturday, Cason said he expected to return for his senior season, despite being predicted to go as high as No. 6 overall in NFL mock drafts online.

    “”I haven’t changed my mind too much yet,”” he said. “”I talked to the coaches about it and everyone. I’m still at the same place I was after the game, if I’m going to stay or go.””

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