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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Checking in with the Cats

    Ryan Caseyassistant sports editor
    Ryan Casey
    assistant sports editor

    Casey at the Pen

    With summer practice officially getting underway this week, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hopes and dreams of the 2006 Arizona football team, but before we look forward, let’s take a look back.

    Remember the 2005 version of the Wildcats? Remember last year’s seniors running back Mike Bell, safety Darrell Brooks, guard Kili Lefotu, defensive end Copeland Bryan and punter Danny Baugher? Here’s what they’ve been up to since last April’s draft:

    Bell

    Perhaps enjoying the most success of the former teammates is Bell. Even though the running back went undrafted, Bell is now wearing No. 20 as a member of head coach Mike Shanahan’s Denver Broncos – a.k.a. “”Running back heaven.””

    After just a few days of training camp, Bell is currently listed third on the Broncos’ depth chart.

    Since being inked by the Broncos after the draft, Bell has slowly but surely made an impression in Denver, the city in which he spent the better part of his childhood. As Shanahan told DenverBroncos.com: “”He looked pretty impressive (Saturday) for a young kid coming in. He made a few cuts and impressed some of the veterans, and you always like to see that.””

    Added Bell, to The Denver Post: “”This is a legitimate dream come true … I’m going to do everything I can to continue it.””

    Lefotu

    Lefotu, a guard who started 37 games during his time at Arizona, was the only Wildcat selected in the NFL Draft, going in the 7th round to Washington.

    After signing on June 22, Lefotu began to compete for a backup position on the offensive line, and the fact that he played every position on the line during college continues to be of aid.

    “”We feel like we have a very good group at offensive line, and we wouldn’t want to bring in somebody that we didn’t think could really compete,”” Washington head coach Joe Gibbs told Redskins.com. “”We thought he has a lot to him and we thought we got a very good pick there.””

    Lefotu said, on the team’s Web site, “”I’m just going to go all-out. The rest will sort itself out.””

    Oh, and that trademark big hair? It’s gone.

    Baugher

    Baugher, a finalist for the Ray Guy Award – given annually to the nation’s top punter – after leading the nation with 47.5 yards per punt, wasn’t expected to be selected after tearing his right medial collateral ligament against Oregon in late October, but he jumped at the chance to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals after the draft.

    “”They said I had an opportunity to come in and play,”” he said at the time.

    Though Baugher gave incumbent punter Kyle Larson a run for his money, he was released on Sunday.

    It’s possible Baugher could hook on with another team, as San Francisco, Cleveland and New England all showed interest in April.

    Bryan

    Far and away the Wildcats’ leading sack getter with 7.5 last season, the former walk-on Bryan inked a deal with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in early May and is currently in training camp under head coach Jeff Fisher.

    Brooks

    Brooks, the leader of Arizona’s defense at free safety last season, signed with the Dallas Cowboys after going undrafted in April.

    But Brooks never get to test out his new No. 38 jersey, as head coach Bill Parcells released the safety Saturday before the start of training camp.

    Ryan Casey is a journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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