Chargers Pick Cason in 1st Round

May 27, 2008

NEW YORK -- Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason became the 10th Wildcat picked in the first round of the NFL Draft today with his selection as the 27th overall pick by the San Diego Chargers.

Cason, a four-year starter and 2007 winner of the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's premier defensive back, is UA's most recent top pick since 2000.

Cason was the fifth cornerback chosen in the first round.

Wildcats in the Top Round of the NFL Draft The University of Arizona has had 10 players selected in the first round of the National Football League draft, with the most recent bfore Cason being running back Trung Canidate in April 2000. Canidate was the second Wildcat in as many seasons to be a first-round pick, following cornerback Chris McAlister in 1999.

The Arizona first-round selections and their draft order are:

1939 (10th) Walter Ring Nielsen, running back, New York Giants
1968 (26th) Bill Lueck, guard, Green Bay Packers
1976 (16th) Mike Dawson, defensive tackle, St. Louis Cardinals
1984 (7th) Ricky Hunley, linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals
1990 (8th) Chris Singleton, linebacker, New England Patriots
1990 (11th) Anthony Smith, defensive tackle, Oakland Raiders
1991 (27th) John Fina, offensive tackle, Buffalo Bills
1999 (10th) Chris McAlister, cornerback, Baltimore Ravens
2000 (31st) Trung Canidate, tailback, St. Louis Rams
2008 (27th) Antoine Cason, cornerback, San Diego Chargers

Antoine Cason, NO. 5


Graduate, 6-0, 185

Long Beach, Calif. (Los Alamitos)


Arizona: 4L ... 2007 Jim Thorpe Award winner... Named first-team All-America by Walter Camp, The Sporting News,, and first-team All-Pacific-10 Conference... 46-game starter from the moment he walked on campus.. Final season stats: five interceptions, two returned for scores, plus 14 pass breakups, a sack, three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.. Returned a punt for a touchdown as well, giving him the UA career record for combined return (INT and kicks) touchdowns with five...10.0 yards per punt return on 27 tries... Finished with 15 career interceptions, No. 4 on UA's all-time list behind storied Cats Chuck Cecil (21), Jackie Wallace (20) and Chris McAlister (18)... Second Arizona player to win the Thorpe Award following 1990 honoree Darryll Lewis... Also was semifinalist for Lott Trophy and on Bednarik Awards... Started 'Cason Cares' fund raising effort in 2007 and presented a $5000 check to the American Cancer Society for research in early December.. Playboy 2007 All-America... Earned 2007 track 4x100 All-America honors... First-team All-Pacific-10 Conference honors in 2006 cemented his place as one of UA's all-time bests at cornerback, one of five Wildcats so chosen along with McAlister, Keshon Johnson, Lewis and Randy Robbins... Semifinalist for the Thorpe Award '06...

Two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week, against Washington State and California... Three interceptions in 2006 including a 39-yard return for the eventual winning points against No. 8 California... Played every snap his first two years... Second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2005... Finished with three interceptions, five passes defensed and 50 tackles including 2.5 for losses... Normally plays the strong side of the field... Season-long 27-yard interception return against Oregon... Had seven tackles three times... Started 11 games as a true freshman in 2004, earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention ... Selected to the FWAA and Sporting News freshman All-America teams ... TSN's All-Pac-10 freshman team selection and Pac-10 defensive freshman of the year honors ... Selected to freshman All-America club ...

Finished the season with 70 tackles (54 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss (-18 yards), four interceptions, six pass breakups and three forced fumbles ... Second-leading tackler on the squad ... Ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in interceptions, 20th in tackles, fifth in forced fumbles and ninth in passes defended ... Tallied 12 tackles (8 solo) and forced a fumble vs. ASU ... Returned an interception 23 yards, had nine tackles (7 solo), two pass breakups and two tackles for a loss (-8 yards) at Washington ... Returned two interceptions for a total of 61 yards and tallied five solo tackles vs. California ... Named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after first collegiate game: tallied a career-high 13 tackles (12 solo), including one for a loss, forced two fumbles, broke up one pass and returned an interception four yards vs. NAU ...

High School: Los Alamitos High School, Los Alamitos, Calif., 2004 ... Second-team All-CIF Southern Section and first-team Division I CIF as senior... Also earned Southern Section Division I all-defense honors ... Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100 ... SuperPrep All-America selection as a top 300 national recruit ... SuperPrep All-Farwest honors as a Top 100 California prospect ... Also played running back at Los Alamitos ... Had 41 tackles, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 2003 ... First-team all-league as a junior, with six interceptions ... Sunset League Defensive Back of the Year and first-team honors as a senior ... Orange County Register first-team all-county ... Won team's 'Hit of the Year' for 2002 ... Also participated in track.

Personal: Academic major is political science and graduated in four years ... Co-president of the UA's Student Athlete Advisory Board in 2006-07... UA's Outstanding Junior Athlete award in 2006... Son of Wendell Cason of Carson and Deborah Cason of Long Beach ... Father played at Oregon and for the Atlanta Falcons from 1984-87 ... Brother Dione ran track at WSU ... Cousin of Ken-yon Rambo of the New York Jets and Avieon Cason of the Dallas Cowboys ... Likes dogs, PS2 and working out ... Monthly church usher duties ... Date of birth: July 9, 1986.

Cason's Career Totals
Year G-GS UT AT TT TFL Other
2004 11-11 54 16 70 5.5-18 4 INT, 6 PD, 3 FF
2005 11-11 38 12 50 2.5-5 3 INT, 5 PD
2006 12-12 48 14 62 - 3 INT, 7 PD, 1 FR
2007 12-12 56 15 72 4.0-12 5 INT, 14 PD, 2 FF, 1 SK
Total 46-46 140 42 182 8 - 23 15 INT, 32 PD, 5 FF, 1 FR, 1 SK

Punt return '07: 27-10.0, 1 TD