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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


With John Bonano

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
 UA victory over Cal State Berkely football at Arizona Stadium Saturday, Sept 16.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA victory over Cal State Berkely football at Arizona Stadium Saturday, Sept 16.

Arizona football owns the lowest graduation rate among student athletes in the Pacific 10 Conference, but Wildcats junior kicker John Bonano is an exception. Bonano, a physiology major, owns the highest GPA in the Pac-10 (3.9) and earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors on Wednesday. The Arizona Daily Wildcat caught up with Bonano to talk about owning the conference’s best GPA, his road to Arizona and his basketball skills.

Daily Wildcat: So what was your reaction to finding out you have the highest GPA among Pac-10 players?

John Bonano: It was pretty surprising, I hadn’t expected it or anything but it’s exciting to hear. My dad actually told me about it this morning, called me up. He was excited about it and then a couple of the coaches said congrats to me today, so it was cool.

DW: Are you the smartest guy on the team? Some people say (that it’s) David Roberts with his aerospace engineering major.

JB: He’s a different major than me, so maybe in different areas, but I mean I’ve got the highest GPA right now so I can hopefully keep it up.

DW: What’s your class schedule like?

JB: It’s pretty tough, I’m taking physics right now, Physiology 201 and then just a couple Gen eds, so I’ve got a tough schedule.

DW: So why did you ultimately decide to come to Arizona?

JB: The (full-ride) academic scholarship was ultimately it. Some other schools offered me the scholarship, but, out of all of them, I narrowed it down to Arizona. I wasn’t planning on playing a sport but I just decided to walk on here and it worked out for me.

DW: What other schools offered you the scholarship?

JB: Texas offered me it, Alabama, Florida, a bunch of other schools out east, and Arizona was closest to home (California). I was also thinking of going to some Division-III schools for basketball, but I ended up just making the money here.  

DW: So did you kick in high school?

JB: I kicked, played basketball and did track, so I didn’t really focus on kicking until I decided to come here and walk on, and then I really started focusing on it.

DW: So what was your main sport in high school?

JB: Basketball mainly, I mean I played travel basketball, went to Vegas for tournaments and stuff. I was a power forward, slash wing, and just kind of kicked because no on else could do it. I knew at this level, at this school, kicking was probably the only thing I could do so I started focusing on that more my senior year, went to a couple camps and stuff.

DW: Did you ever think about trying to walk on the basketball team here?

JB: No, not here. The guys here are huge, 6-foot-8 at my position, so I just stuck to the kicking.

DW: What’s it like being a kicker, do you see any of the position players ever?

JB: Yeah, we see them around, we have special teams meetings, we’re all in there together. But obviously we hang out as a special teams unit, as the kickers on the sideline. We’re kind of our own little unit within the team.

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