Position, years at UA: Quarterback, 2009-2011
Honors, accomplishments at UA: Is the school’s career leader with 10,011 passing yards. … Has the second-best single-season mark in Pac-12 history with 4,226 yards of total offense in 2011. … Completed and attempted more passes (933 of 1,396) than any QB in UA history.
Why he made our list: UA, through its Pac-10 years (and longer), struggled to find a quarterback who had an NFL arm, NFL skills and an NFL stature. And then along came Nick Foles, who had once committed to Arizona State, signed with Michigan State and became a Wildcat after one season in East Lansing, Mich.
Foles originally lost the quarterback competition with Matt Scott in 2009 but took over in the fourth game of that season and went on to become the most accomplished passer in school history. Foles and the spread offense meant UA increasingly was reliant on the pass during his time; he threw for at least 350 yards in nine of his 12 games as a senior.
He threw for 1,160 yards and 10 touchdowns in three games vs. Oregon, leading Ducks coach Chip Kelly — now Foles’ coach with the Philadelphia Eagles — to remark in 2011: “I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes. … Nick is a hell of a football player. That kid’s a warrior. He’s as good as anyone in the country.”