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ESPN predicts Arizona LB Colin Schooler will be 2019 All-American

Arizona defensive tackle Dereck Boles (99), linebacker Colin Schooler (7) and cornerback Lorenzo Burns (2) celebrates after Boles recovered a fumble during the second half of an NCAA college football game against California on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

The Arizona Wildcats’ 2018 season was one to forget under Kevin Sumlin in his first season as the head coach, but he has a promising defense led by sophomore linebacker Colin Schooler to look forward to for next season.

ESPN writer David M. Hale believes the 19-year-old Schooler will be on the All-America team in his too-early predictions for 2019.

Arizona’s defense might not be a marquee unit, but don’t overlook what Schooler has accomplished in two seasons in Tucson under two different coordinators. In 2017, Schooler was the Pac-12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year, racking up 95 tackles, four sacks and 13.5 TFL. In 2018, he improved those numbers across the board. His 119 tackles ranked second among returning Pac-12 defenders, and his 21.5 tackles for loss were fourth nationally among linebackers. Schooler added 3.5 sacks, four QB hurries and four pass breakups, too.

Schooler, a three-star recruit by 247 Sports out from California, led the Wildcats in total tackles (119), tackles for loss (21.5) and tied fellow linebacker Josh Brown with 3.5 sacks last season.

The Wildcats finished 5-7 on the season and 4-5 in conference play. Schooler finished the season finale against Arizona State with five total tackles in a 41-40 loss in the Territorial Cup, his lowest since Week 7 against Utah. He has recorded 10 or more total tackles in six games in 2018.

The Arizona linebacker is one of four Pac-12 players who made the list. The other three include Stanford offensive lineman Walker Little and cornerback Paulson Adebo and Utah defensive lineman Leki Fotu.