Note: This is part of a series of posts you’ll see over the next week or so on ArizonaSports.com. We had a panel of 16 voters, including all of our on-air personalities, cast votes in several categories like Athlete of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Best Moment of the Year and many others.
There were plenty of Arizona athletes who shined brightly in 2013.
In the college ranks, ASU basketball’s Jahii Carson lived up to the hype, leading the Sun Devils to a 22-win season while being named the Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year.
On the gridiron in Tempe, defensive tackle Will Sutton won the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season while helping the Devils to a 10-4 season.
Down in Tucson, Ka’Deem Carey picked up where he left off in 2012, running wild for 1,885 yards and 19 touchdowns despite missing a game and a half for Rich Rodriguez’s Wildcats.
Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby returned to his original franchise and found the fountain of youth. Dansby registered 122 tackles and returned two interceptions for touchdowns for a dominant Arizona defense in a 10-win season.
Former ASU golfer Phil Mickelson not only won the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but was victorious in two other events, including the British Open, where he fired a final-round 66 to win the Claret Jug for the first time in his career.
I could recite the 2013 accomplishments of many other outstanding Arizona athletes, but there was clearly one who was more outstanding than all the others.