2000 Football Draft Bios and Stats
Wide receiver/return specialist Dennis Northcutt
In the previous 100 years of Arizona football, a receiver has never had as productive and spectacular a season as Dennis Northcutt's 1999 campaign. The 5-foot-11, 172 pound senior from Los Angeles set 12 individual school records and helped the offense set several more in 1999. Northcutt ended his career as Arizona's all-time leader in receiving yards (3,252), receptions (223) and all-purpose yards (5,392). His career receptions and yards both rank No. 2 in Pacific-10 Conference history. For his efforts, Northcutt was a consensus All-American at the all-purpose position (1st Team - AP, FBWAA) and was an All-American at wide receiver by the American Football Coaches Association. He also earned second team honors by The Sporting News.
He was a finalist for the Mosi Tatupu Award, given to the nation's top special teams player. The product of Dorsey High School also set season records for receptions (88), receiving yards (1,422), all-purpose yards (2,249) and average gain per play (16.8). His average gain per play also set an NCAA record. Northcutt ended his career with a streak of 42 consecutive games catching a pass, also a Pac-10 record. Northcutt was more than just a valuable receiver. He led the nation with a 18.96 punt return average - also a school record - and took two punts back for touchdowns. Against Texas Christian in the second game of the season, Northcutt caught 10 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. His 25.7 yards per catch average set a single game record for a wideout with 10 or more receptions in a game. It was also No. 2 on the single game receiving yardage list at Arizona. He finished the season with eight 100+ yard receiving games, including totals of 257, 139 (Stanford), 140 (Oregon), 121 (USC and UCLA) and 127 (Arizona State). Northcutt was the Wildcats' No. 2 rusher on the season, yardage-wise, with 200 yards on 14 carries. He had an 80 yard touchdown on a reverse against Arizona.
As a team, the Arizona offense set a school and Pac-10 record for total offense with 5,663 yards on the season. They also had six 500+ yard games on the season, including five in a row. Arizona gained an average of 471.9 yards per game during the season, another school record, and good for No. 3 in the nation.
Northcutt's Career Stats
Year G-GS Rec. Yards TDs Rush PR KOR
1996 11-0 8 75 1 5-8-0 0-0 0-0
1997 11-11 58 767 9 6-105-1 1-0 10-230
Insight 1-1 2 19 0 2-25-0 2-6 2-50
1998 12-12 63 922 6 9-69-0 38-437 11-219
Holiday 1-1 4 47 0 1-(-15)-0 3-24 2-37
1999 12-12 88 1,422 8 14-200-1 23-436-2 9-191
Career 36-25 225 3,252 24 37-407-1 67-903-2 34-727
Tailback Trung Canidate
Although he played running back at the Arizona for only three years, Trung Canidate shattered several Arizona career and single season rushing records. As a senior, Canidate earned second team All-America honors by CBS SportsLine, ABC Bowl Championship Series and was a third team selection by Football News and The Associated Press. The 5-foot-11, 199 pound product of Central H.S. in Phoenix set the Arizona career rushing record with 3,824 rushing yards on 604 carries. His yardage eclipsed Ontiwaun Carter's mark of 3,501 from 1991-94, but Canidate had 201 fewer attempts in his career. In 1999, Canidate set the school's single season rushing record, recording 1,602 yards on 253 carries. Canidate closed the season with 10 straight 100-yard rushing games, also a school record. Canidate rushed for over 200 yards twice in 1999, going for 202 against UTEP and 221 against Oregon State. He scored 11 touchdowns during the year, including at least one in the final eight games of the year. Canidate also caught 30 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown during the season and was tied for No. 2 on the team in pass receptions. During his career, Canidate had 18 100-yard rushing games and a 6.3 per carry average. Canidate closed his Wildcats career at No. 4 on the all-purpose yardage chart with 4,378 total yards.
Canidate's Career Stats
Year G-GS Rush Yards TDs Rec Yards TDs
1996 11-0 Special Teams (4 solo tackles, 1 punt block)
1997 8-5 138 804 4 3 24 0
Insight 1-0 24 97 1 0 0 0
1998 11-9 167 1,220 10 9 191 0
Holiday 1-1 22 101 0 0 0 0
1999 12-12 253 1,602 11 30 253 1
Career 44-27 604 3,824 26 42 468 1
Linebacker Marcus Bell
Linebacker Marcus Bell was the rock in the middle of the Arizona defense in three seasons as a starter for the Wildcats, collecting 405 tackles from 1996-99, the No. 3 mark in Arizona history. Bell led all Arizona defenders in tackles his final two years as a Wildcat, totaling 139 and 124 as a junior and senior, respectively. In 1999, Bell finished with 73 solo stops and 51 assists, and his 124 tackles were 49 more than the No. 2 tackler on the team. Bell's 14 tackles for loss tied for the team lead and he also had four sacks. Bell was named the Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week against USC following his nine tackle, one interception performance. He closed his career with a 20 tackle performance against Arizona State, one short of his career high. Against Washington, Bell had a game-high 18 tackles, 12 solo, the fourth-highest performance of his career. He 21 tackle performances against the Sun Devils and Huskies in 1998. Bell's 18 tackles this year against Washington pushed him to the century mark for the second straight season. As a junior, Bell led the Pac-10 with 139 tackles, and he added 10 more in the Wildcats' Holiday Bowl win over Nebraska.
Bell's Career Stats
Year G-GS UT AT TT Sack TFL Other
1996 11-0 33 8 41 0-0 1-5
1997 11-9 56 24 80 4-33 10-78 2FR, 2FF, 1PBU
Insight 1-1 11 0 11 0-0 2-6 1PBU
1998 12-12 82 57 139 3-32 14-51 2FF, 1FR, 6PBU, 1Blk
Holiday 1-1 9 1 10 0-0 2-21
1999 12-12 73 51 124 4-26 14-53 1Int, 2PBU
Career 48-37 264 141 405 11-91 43-214 4FF, 3FR, 10PBU, 1 Int, 1Blk
Quarterback Keith Smith
In his tenure as starting quarterback for Arizona, Keith Smith was one of the most prolific passers in school history. Though he missed games due to injuries and split time with the other part of the Wildcats' "Two-headed monster," Ortege Jenkins, Smith threw for 5,972 yards in his Arizona career, No. 3 on the school all-time charts. He also had 7,049 yards of total offense, No. 2 all-time. Smith's completion percentages and passing efficiency were what set him apart from the rest, however, As a junior, he set a Pacific-10 Conference record with a 174.2 quarterback efficiency rating, when he completed 113-of-165 passes for 1,732 yards, 13 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Smith continued his excellence as a senior, compiling a 135.02 rating while completing 131-of-228 passes for 1,903 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. As a junior, Smith's 68.5 pass completion percentage set a school record for minimum 150 attempts. He followed that by completing 57.46 percent of his passes as a senior, a school record for minimum 200 attempts. Smith also set school records for fewest percent passes intercepted in a career (3.72%m 27 in 726 attempts), yards gained per attempt in a career (8.2, 726-5.972) and career pass efficiency rating (140.52). Smith was also dangerous as a runner. He finished his Arizona career with 1,077 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.
Linebacker DaShon Polk
DaShon Polk started at one of the less glamorous, but most important positions on the Arizona defense for three seasons - the whip (weak-side) linebacker spot. In that positions, Polk lined up as an outside and inside linebacker, a down lineman, covered receivers on pass routes, rushed the quarterback and plugged the run. Through it all, Polk played it as well as any Arizona player in the past. Polk finished his Arizona career with 182 tackles, 130 solo, 38 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. As a senior, Polk had a career high 70 tackles, 48 solo. He also was No. 3 on the team with 13 tackles for loss and had three sacks.
Offensive Tackle Manuia Savea
Arizona's offensive line was one of the big factors in the Wildcats' ascension to No. 3 in the NCAA in total offense this year. Senior Manuia Savea anchored the line from his right tackle position, helping the Wildcats rack up an average of 471.9 yards per game, tops in the Pacific-10 Conference and a school record. Savea did not miss a start in his 25 games as a Wildcat, and was a force in blocking for Arizona's career rushing leader, Trung Canidate. In Savea's two seasons at UA, Canidate gained 2,923 rushing yards. Savea was also a key contributor in helping Arizona rank 15th in the nation in rushing and 26th in passing last year. Canidate was the leading rusher in the Pac-10 (133.5 ypg) and seventh in the nation, and Keith Smith was the No. 2 rated passer in the conference (135.0).