By Eric Wein
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Devout UA football fans who braved the miserable 1991 season were used to constantly seeing Mike Scurlock take down opposing ball carriers.
Scurlock made the stops as an undersized linebacker for a defense that struggled to hold off opponents in its pre-Desert Swarm days. As a redshirt freshman, he embodied the Wildcats' plight in their 4-7 season while registering 67 tackles as a 200-pound linebacker.
"The thing I remember was that I was a little immature in the game of Pac-10 football," Scurlock said. "I was young and I made some mistakes. Fortunately, I was able to grow from it."
After that season, he was moved to a backup safety and special teams' player before moving to cornerback where he spent this season. As part of the rotation, the 5-foot-11 senior has registered 22 tackles.
When people look back on his 1994 season, they will most likely think of two moments. Two plays stand out involving Scurlock Ä one of them costly and the other favorable.
He was flagged for pass interference on a critical fourth-down play against Oregon. What could have been called as incidental contact that would have given the Wildcats the ball, the Ducks continued their drive and eventually scored the decisive touchdown in Oregon's 10-9 win.
"I was a little upset at the call because I felt on my part, I hadn't done anything wrong. I thought it was a good play," he said. "There's going to be plays that are going to get called. There's nothing I can do about them, there's nothing anybody can do."
The following week, Scurlock was involved in another crucial touchdown, only this time it was the touchdown Arizona needed to beat Cal 13-7.
A wobbly Cal pass hung in the air and Scurlock jumped in the way for an interception before sprinting
97 yards for the only touchdown of his career.
"It was a good feeling, something I worked hard for not just this season but for five years," he said.
Through all Scurlock has gone through, there have been two people he can turn to for comfort Ä his wife Michelle and his three-year-old daughter Vanessa.
"My wife, she's a great mentor for me. She's my leaning pole and she's there for me all the time," he said. "My daughter, just to see her smile every day lifts me up when I'm feeling down."
After his final game at Arizona Stadium as a UA player Friday, Scurlock will soon finish up his career as a utility defensive player.
"I have OK memories of my career. As a person, it made me grow a lot and builded a lot of character," he said.
This is the first in a series of three profiles featuring seniors on the Arizona football team.
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