Position, years at UA: Running back, 1953-56.
Honors, accomplishments at UA: Led the nation in rushing in 1954 (1,359 yards) and in 1955 (1,313). … His 3,381 rushing yards rank third in school history. … His 21 rushing touchdowns in 1954 stood as the UA season record until Ka’Deem Carey went for 23 last season.
Why he made our list: The Cactus Comet was unrivaled as the brightest football star in UA history until the 1980s, and you can still make a compelling case that Art Luppino should be No. 1 on this countdown of the school’s top players. In 1954, he led the nation in rushing, kick returns, all-purpose yards and scoring (he had 24 touchdowns to go with 22 extra points).
There has never been a better single-game performance in UA history than the first game of his sophomore season, in 1954 against New Mexico State as the Wildcats unveiled a split-T attack.
Luppino rushed for 228 yards on only six carries, scoring on runs of 37, 48, 74 and 53 yards. He also scored on an 88-yard kick return and set up another score with a 43-yard punt return. UA won 58-0 as Luppino played only about 20 minutes.