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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Seniors await final hurrah against Utah

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Alex McIntyre

Arizona running back Jared Baker (23) slips past the New Mexico defense on his way to a touchdown early in the second quarter of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, Dec. 19.

The Arizona football team will take the field on senior night with hopes of knocking off No. 10 Utah in order to become bowl-eligible for the fourth straight season.

Four straight seasons of bowl eligibility would mean Arizona’s four-year seniors will have played in a bowl game every season in their collegiate careers, a feat that is difficult to accomplish playing in a league as competitive as the Pac-12 Conference.

The Daily Wildcat puts a spotlight on three seniors who have spent all four years at Arizona. Don’t miss them in action for what might be the final time at Arizona Stadium on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Jared Baker (23), running back

The 5-foot-8-inch Los Angeles native has spent the last four seasons on special teams as a return man and as one of Arizona’s go-to backup running backs.

Baker has accumulated 933 yards on 175 attempts, good for 5.3 yards per carry, as the backup to some of the Pac-12’s premier rushers. He has scored nine times with a long run of 79 yards. Baker has also averaged 21 yards per return with special teams.

The senior served as a backup during his freshman and sophomore seasons to one of the Pac-12’s all-time greats, Ka’Deem Carey, before backing up leading rushing Nick Wilson for the past two seasons. Baker has thrived in Wilson’s absence this year and has rushed for 622 yards with six touchdowns.

Baker was Pac-12 All-Academic First Team in 2012 and Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team in 2013 and 2014.

Drew Riggleman (39), punter

Riggleman has defied odds for the last three years to become an Arizona fan favorite. The Tucson native attended Sahuaro High School and was named All-Southern Arizona First Team in 2011 before redshirting his true freshman year as a Wildcat.

Riggleman served as a backup his freshman season before attempting 210 punts with an average of 43 yards per punt over his next three seasons. He has 50 punts of over 50 yards, including a career-long of 71 yards, and 54 punts inside the 20-yard line. Riggleman has wracked up 1,731 yards of punts during his senior campaign and was named a candidate for the 2015 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter.

The prolific Wildcat was named Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention in 2013 and SI.com Honorable Mention All-American and All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2014.

Cayman Bundage (61), offensive line

The 6-foot-2-inch, 281-pound offensive lineman hails from Oklahoma City. Bundage has seen significant playing time since arriving at Arizona and has played a pivotal piece in the Wildcats’ offensive success over the past four seasons.

Bundage was Arizona’s only true freshman starter on offense in 2012 and played in 11 games for an offensive line that helped Arizona climb as high as No. 4 nationally in total offense. He started 13 games at left guard his sophomore season and led the way for the Pac-12’s leading rusher, Ka’Deem Carey, who followed a historic 1,929-yard campaign with 1,885 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Bundage has blocked for the likes of Carey, Nick Wilson, Anu Solomon, B.J. Denker and Matt Scott throughout his tenure as a Wildcat. He assisted Wilson and Solomon in setting program freshman records in rushing and passing yards, respectively, last season.


Follow Dominic Baciocco on Twitter


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