Freshman CB Fontenot earns Pac-10 honor

By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 9, 2004

For the second time this season, a UA freshman cornerback picked up the Pac-10's weekly award as the conference's top defensive player.

Wilrey Fontenot was named the Pacific 10 Conference's defensive player of the week yesterday for his effort in the Wildcats' 23-13 win over Washington on Saturday.

"I was surprised," said Fontenot. "I thought I had and an OK game, but I think I can play better than I played last week."

Fontenot, who finished the game with five tackles and a pass break-up, scored the go-ahead touchdown with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter on a 33-yard fumble return in the Wildcats' victory.

Arizona trailed the Huskies 13-9 late in the third quarter when Fontenot picked up a Shelton Sampson fumble and ran it in for the Wildcats' first defensive touchdown of the year.

Fontenot said he was in the weight room when he heard the news from junior linebacker Sean Jones.

"I thought he was joking," Fontenot said. "I was excited, but I have to put that aside and look forward to this upcoming week with USC."

Fontenot wasn't the only Wildcat standing out on defense. The UA defensive unit as a whole stood out Saturday, recording four turnovers, tallying a season-high five sacks, breaking up a season-high 13 pass attempts, and holding Washington scoreless in the second half.

"It's always satisfying when you played a good game in other people's eyes, but you have to look at yourself and see what you did wrong, and there's some things I can improve on," Fontenot said.

Fellow freshman cornerback Antoine Cason received the same honor for his performance against Northern Arizona after the season's opening game, picking up 13 tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles. The pair are the only two Wildcats to pick up the Pac-10's weekly awards this year.

Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter and Washington State running back Jerome Harrison were named co-offensive players of the week, while Southern California's Reggie Bush picked up the special teams honor.