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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

A secondary brotherhood

Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Football defensive lineman
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Football defensive lineman

Hours of grueling practice and 60 minutes of war every Saturday will naturally bring a group of athletes together.

But very few collegiate football players can say they’ve grown as close as Arizona’s secondary.

Between the non-stop banter and never-ending trash talking lies a group of “”brothers”” who share so much more than just the defensive backfield.

Starting senior safeties Joe Perkins and Anthony Wilcox and starting junior cornerbacks Trevin Wade and Robert Golden aren’t just teammates — they’re family.

“”I’ve been saying it all year, this is probably the closest I’ve ever seen a group,”” Wade said of the defensive backs. “”I think we’re the absolute closest out of anybody.””

The quartet is together non-stop, and Wade said they sometimes even go on quadruple dates from time to time. The bond has gotten so strong that it’s translated to their parents, who have become also friends.

“”On and off the field, we’re all close. Family wise too,”” Wilcox said.

Golden and Wilcox immediately formed a bond when the two joined the team in 2008 and are “”together every day,”” according to Golden.

That same year also brought together Wade and Perkins who also developed a close friendship. But although they had their individual friendships, it wasn’t until this summer that the four of them came together.

Wade said because they were the expected starters, they were “”forced to talk.”” Then, once they heard the criticism and lack of expectations surrounding Arizona’s secondary, that brotherhood developed.

“”I think it’s more like people doubting us and everybody saying our secondary was going to be the weak unit of the team,”” Wilcox said.

“”If you’re a competitor, that just makes you angry and makes you want to step up to the challenge so it brought all of us closer.””

From observing their dynamic for only a few minutes after practice, you would think these four were raised together. But each member of the Wildcats’ secondary embarked on a different journey to Arizona.   

Wade worked his way up from a two-star recruit to Arizona’s shutdown corner. Golden was a four-star recruit that is finally finding success after an unsuccessful season at safety in 2009. Perkins and Wilcox are former junior college transfers — Wilcox making an impact after only four career games, and Perkins transforming from a spot-duty utility man to a mainstay at free safety.

But even with such different roots, the defensive backs have come together to form a secondary that’s part of one of the nation’s best defenses through four games.

The Wildcats’ defense is second in the nation in yards allowed, yielding only 230.8 per game while surrendering only 11 points per game.

Arizona and the combination of Wade, Golden, Perkins and Wilcox also lead the Pac-10 in pass defense (129.5 yards per game, three touchdowns, three interceptions).

This close-knit secondary certainly offers an array of talents from top to bottom, but it’s the togetherness that’s allowed the four to disprove the doubters and shine on the gridiron.

“”It’s kind of like family, so you trust the guy that’s next to you,”” Wilcox said. “”You don’t really worry about, ‘Oh, this guy is going to hang me out to dry.’ You know they got your back.””

Golden added: “”It helped us a lot because we know where each other are going to be and we know what to expect out of each other so we can pick each other up when we know they aren’t playing to their expectations.””

Thanks to this new dynamic between Arizona’s defensive backs, Golden, Wade, Perkins and Wilcox have played above and beyond their expectations.

The brotherhood has shined through on the field and has become a huge reason for the Wildcats’ No. 9 AP ranking and their best start in the past 12 seasons.

“”Things are real close,”” Wade said. “”It’s like we’re brothers out there.””

Twitter game

If for some reason the chemistry between these defensive backs goes unnoticed on the field, look no further than Twitter. Wade (@T2TKILLA24), Golden (@R0bG0lden) and Wilcox (@AnthonyWilcox3) carry their trash talking from the field to the Internet.

“”I just like that we can still talk trash to each other, even though we don’t see each other, so it’s really cool,”” said Wade, who began the Twitter train. “”We always make fun of each other.””

Golden soon followed Wade, and the two have developed quite the Twitter competition already.

“”Me and him, we be going back and forth on Twitter trying to see who can get the most followers and everything,”” Golden said.

Wilcox followed suit soon after. He admitted he isn’t much of a social media guy and leaves all of the trash talking to Golden and Wade.

Although the secondary is well represented on Twitter, Wilcox, Golden and Wade are lobbying for one more addition that would go by the name of @thebeardman, according to Wilcox.

“”Perk, he say he’s not going to get it, but all his brothers got one so we trying to get him on too,”” Golden said.

Wade says Perkins is going to “”give in pretty soon,”” but not according to the man himself.

“”All the rest of them have Twitters, I don’t,”” Perkins said defiantly. “”Just not really that into it, something I don’t want to do. My brother has one, that’s probably the closest I’ll get to Twitter.””

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