Big Man on Campus: Sabino High School's Top 10: Lineman Saffer paved way for potent Sabercat squad

2013-08-15T00:00:00Z Big Man on Campus: Sabino High School's Top 10: Lineman Saffer paved way for potent Sabercat squadArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 15, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Through Aug. 23, the Star will count down the top 10 football players from each major Southern Arizona high school program:

School: Sabino

The best: Mike Saffer

Achievements: Several big-time college football programs had their eyes on Saffer, a 6-foot- 6-inch, 295-pound USA Today first-team All-America offensive tackle and two-time Arizona Republic All-State selection who was widely considered the No. 1 offensive lineman in the nation in 1997. According to former Sabino coach Jeff Scurran, Nebraska, the 1995 national champion, had two coaches station themselves in Tucson for a week and try to persuade Saffer to become a Cornhusker. Saffer, who was also a Parade All-American and Reebok preseason All-American as a senior, helped open lanes for running back Nathan Wize, a fellow senior who rushed for a state-record 3,101 yards and 51 touchdowns in 1997 as the Sabercats went 13-0 before losing in the 4A state championship game. Saffer listed UCLA, USC, Washington, Nebraska and Arizona State as his final college choices and he ultimately chose the Bruins. He started 41 games with them and was named All-Pac-10 and a second-team All-American by The Sporting News his senior year in 2002, but was never able to make it on a NFL team.

From the archives: "Mike Saffer has improved on the pancake block, not only leaving the guy on his back, but the imprint of his waffle shoes are found on his chest." - Wize in the Dec. 11, 1997, Arizona Daily Star

The big number: 1. In three years starting at blindside tackle with Sabino, Saffer gave up only one sack.

Coming up: Find out who the 10 best players from Sahuarita are Saturday.

Daniel Gaona

On StarNet: Check each day to find the newest addition to the top 10 players at each major Southern Arizona school:

Sabino's Top 10

1. Mike Saffer, OT, 1998

2. Brooks Reed, FB/DE/LB, 2006

3. Corey Hill, RB/DB, 1994

4. Jeff Kiewel, OL/DL, 1978

5. Nathan Wize, RB, 1998

6. Glyndon Bolasky, RB/DB, 2006

7. Quinn Gooch, ATH, 2000

8. Garrett Ford, TE/LB, 1989

9. Brian Poli-Dixon, WR, 1997

10. Manny Olague, ATH/FS, 1991

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Latest Sports Video

More videos

Watch: Arizona Wildcats on tough loss to Wisconsin

Gabe York, Stanley Johnson, T.J. McConnell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson talk Wisconsin loss. 

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...