Through Aug. 23, the Star will count down the top 10 football players from each major Southern Arizona high school program:
The best: Danny Villa
Achievements: Coming out of high school in 1982, Villa had one of the toughest decisions any college-bound Arizona athlete must face. The UA or ASU? In the end, the 6-foot-5 1/2-inch, 245-pound offensive lineman chose Arizona State. Villa would go down as the most decorated Sun Devil lineman of all time, finishing his career as a consensus All-American, Outland Trophy finalist, Morris Trophy winner, unanimous All-Pac-10 first-team selection and 1987 Rose Bowl champion among other honors. Drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round of the 1987 NFL draft, the tackle-guard-center went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL and see time in 157 games for the Patriots, the Cardinals, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers. However, in 2009, Villa was sentenced to two years in jail and seven years of probation after he pled guilty to rape charges involving a 15-year-old girl in Massachusetts, where he was coaching football at Walpole High School.
From the archives: "He's a good student. He's appreciative of people who've helped him. He works to get better. He's real consistent." - Jim Colletto, ASU's tackles coach, in the Dec. 29, 1986, Arizona Daily Star
The big number: 1. In 1986, Villa was the first Arizona State offensive lineman to earn All-America recognition.
Coming up: The top 10 players from Palo Verde will be revealed Monday.
Nogales' Top 10
1. Danny Villa, OL, 1983
2. Alex Amado, OL, 1957
3. James Macris, RB, 1940
4. Robert Bonillas, TE/DB, 1994
5. Joe Escalada, OL, 1963
6. Frank Morales, OL, 1952
7. Mario Rodriguez, DL, 1990
8. Ruger Fontes, QB, 1998
9. Ben Coronado, TE, 1993
10. Andy Garcia, RB, 2009