Cats Open All-Star Games This Weekend

Jan. 8, 2003

TUCSON - Wildcat senior offensive lineman Makoa Freitas and senior quarterback Jason Johnson will appear in the East-West Shrine Game Saturday in San Francisco, the first of eight Wildcats to appear in post-season all-star games.

UA linebacker Lance Briggs and wide receiver Bobby Wade also were picked for the Shrine Game, but declined to participate. Those two will play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Jan. 18.

Linebacker Ray Wells, cornerback David Hinton, Johnson and tight end James Hugo were selected to play in the Jan. 25 Paradise Bowl in St. George, Utah.

Johnson was a late-hour addition to the West roster in the Shrine Game. He set Arizona single-season records for passing yardage, attempts, completions and completion percentage, plus recorded some of the Cats' best single-game passing figures such as his 492-yard game at California and his 443-yard game at Washington, the top two games in UA's history.

Freitas and defensive tackle Young Thompson also have been selected to participate in the Rotary Gridiron Classic Jan. 25, in Orlando, Fla., playing for Team America against Team Florida, comprised of stars from that state who played in-state or elsewhere collegiately.

Wade finished as the No. 1 receiver in UA history, with 230 receptions, plus posted a UA-record 3351 receiving yards. Briggs collected more than 300 career tackles and was a three-time first-team All-Pacific-10 Conference selection.

All the UA players hope to catch the eye of professional football personnel directors and scouts who will be in attendance at the various games.

Rosters for the Hula Bowl, to be played in Wailuku, Maui, on Feb. 1, will be announced in the next few weeks. Freitas, a Hawaiian prep star from the Honolulu area, has been rumored as one potential pick from among the UA senior class.

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