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Tra’Mayne Bondurant named Pac-12 defensive player of the week

Arizona safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant collected his first Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award Monday for his performance Friday night against NAU.

Bondurant whose official position title in the 3-3-5 odd stack defense is “Spur,” had a game-high seven tackles and intercepted two passes versus the Lumberjacks. Bondurant’s job in the unique defense is to make plays and react quickly in the open field to the offense’s play.

The junior did exactly that Friday with his fourth and fifth career interceptions. His first interception Friday he took 23 yards for a touchdown, his second return for a touchdown in college. The first interception return for a touchdown came in 2011 at Colorado.

“All the best defensive players just recognize things a little quicker and have a way about shedding blocks or getting around blocks and making plays,” head coach Rich Rodirguez said about Bondurant.

Bondurant’s production on defense helped the Wildcats hold NAU to 15 first downs in the game on Friday, the second lowest in the Rodriguez era.

Colorado wide-receiver Paul Richardson and California place kicker Vincenzo D’Amato join Bondurant as the offense and special teams conference players of the week.

“[Bondurant] has good size, but he doesn’t overwhelm you with his strength or his speed, he’s just got great great instincts,” Rodriguez said. “He’s one of the guys defensively, that has as good of instincts as anyone on our team.”