Antoine Brandon Cason (born July 9, 1986) is a former American football cornerback. He played college football at Arizona where he was recognized as a consensus All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Cason also played for Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, and Baltimore Ravens.
Cason with the Chargers in 2011
|No. 20, 23|
|Born:||July 9, 1986|
Long Beach, California
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school:||Los Alamitos|
(Los Alamitos, California)
|NFL Draft:||2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Cason was born in Long Beach, California, to Deborah and Wendell Cason. His father Wendell played football for the University of Oregon and the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. His brother Dione competed in track at Washington State University. He is also a cousin of Ken-Yon Rambo of the CFL's Calgary Stampeders, and Aveion Cason, formerly of the NFL's Detroit Lions.
He got his start playing in a local football league for the Carson-Gardena Colts, where he stood out as one of the team's top players. Cason started his high school career at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, then transferred to Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, California after his freshman year. At Los Al, he played defensive back for the school's football team and ran track. During his high school years, Antoine earned several honors for his performance on the football field.
Cason attended the University of Arizona, where he majored in political science and played for the Arizona Wildcats football team from 2004 to 2007. He was a starting player for the University's football team since his freshman year in 2004, and is recognized as one of the best cornerbacks in Arizona's history. After his first collegiate game, Antoine was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the week. During his freshmen year, he was also honored as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. In 2005, he earned Second Team All Pac-10 honors. Following the Wildcats' upset win against number 25-ranked Washington State University on November 4, 2006, he earned his second Pac-10 Defensive Player of the week award. The following week, he was recognized again as Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after breaking a 17-17 tie between the Wildcats and the number 8-ranked Cal Bears by scoring a touchdown on a 39-yard interception return. In 2006, Cason was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. After the 2006 season, Cason was eligible for the 2007 NFL Draft. However, he decided to return for his senior season to finish his college degree.
Cason continued his stellar play into his 2007 senior season. His performance on November 15, 2007 in a 34-24 win against the then number two ranked Oregon Ducks included both an interception return and punt return for touchdowns. He finished the season with 5 interceptions, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns. He also returned 2 punts for touchdowns. On December 6, 2007, he was awarded the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back in the country and was a consensus First-team All-America choice.
Cason also competed in track & field for the Wildcats from 2006 to 2007. In the spring of 2007, Cason earned All American honors in Track and Field for his contribution to the Wildcats Men's 4 × 100 metres relay team, which finished in the top eight at the NCAA Championship.
Awards and honorsEdit
- Honorable mention Sporting News All-Pac-10 (2004)
- Sporting News Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (2004)
- Sporting News Freshman All-American (2004)
- FWAA Freshman All-American (2004)
- Rivals.com Freshman All-America Club (2004)
- Second Team All Pac-10 (2005)
- 2x First-team All-Pac-10 (2006-2007)
- Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist (2006)
- NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field All American in 4x100 (2006)
- Jim Thorpe Award (2007)
- Walter Camp First Team All American (2007)
- Associated Press First Team All American (2007)
- The Sporting News First Team All American (2007)
- CBSSports.com First Team All American (2007)
- SI.com First Team All American (2007)
- Rivals.com First Team All American (2007)
- University of Arizona Athletics Hall of Fame (2019)
2008 NFL DraftEdit
Cason was regarded as one of the best cornerbacks available in the 2008 NFL Draft, and was projected a mid-to-late first round pick by Sports Illustrated. He was eventually selected in the late first round (27th overall) by the San Diego Chargers.
|Height||Weight||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|6 ft 0 1⁄4 in
|4.45 s||1.51 s||2.53 s||4.08 s||DNP s||35 1⁄2 in
|10 ft 8 in
|All values from NFL Combine. Did not participate in 3-cone due to tight hamstring|
San Diego ChargersEdit
Cason played in all 16 regular season games and both playoff games at cornerback and on special teams as a rookie for the 2008 AFC Western Division champion San Diego Chargers. His first NFL interception came on September 14, 2008, against the Denver Broncos, picking off Jay Cutler in the end zone and returning for 10 yards. His second NFL interception was a 59-yard pick of Tampa Bay's Jeff Garcia for his first career NFL touchdown. He ended his rookie season with 74 tackles (59 solo) and 2 INTs.
The Chargers first game of the season came on a Monday Night Football match up against rival Oakland Raiders. In that game, Cason intercepted JaMarcus Russell's hail mary attempt on the last play of the game to seal the victory for the Chargers. In the next game, he intercepted Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco and returned it 22 yards. Cason ended the season with 41 total tackles (38 solo) and 2 INTs. He played in all 16 regular season games and their only playoff game for the 2009 AFC Western Division champion San Diego Chargers.
Cason was the starting cornerback opposite Quentin Jammer at the beginning of the season. Following a game against the Jets, in which he allowed three touchdown passes to Plaxico Burress, he was briefly benched in favor of the Chargers rookie cornerback Marcus Gilchrist (2nd round pick in 2011). He regained the starting job after Gilchrist made one start, and he finished the season as the Chargers second starting cornerback. He sealed the Chargers victory in week 17 against the Raiders with an interception of Carson Palmer, which ended the Raiders playoff contention for the ninth consecutive year.
On March 21, 2014, Cason signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers for $795,000, with $65,000 guaranteed. During his debut performance for the Panthers in a 20-14 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cason recorded 9 tackles, 2 pass deflections, and an interception. During the week 2 victory over the Detroit Lions, Cason recorded 10 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. In the Panthers week 5 victory over the Chicago Bears, Cason recorded 6 tackles, 1 pass deflection, and had pivotal forced fumble against Matt Forte in the fourth quarter that led to the game-winning touchdown. Through five games with the Panthers, Cason had set a career-high with 3 forced fumbles.
Despite this early success, Cason began to struggle to produce later on in the season. In a week 9 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Cason was benched after he was called for a 32-yard pass interference penalty. In week 13, Cason was benched again after allowing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings of the Minnesota Vikings, which contributed to Carolina's 31-13 loss. Two days later, on December 2, he was waived from his contract. He had started 11 of 12 games during his season with Carolina.
Cason signed with the Baltimore Ravens on December 9, 2014. He decided to wear #23, instead of his usual #20, as a mark of respect to the great Ed Reed, who famously wore #20 for Baltimore. He played the last two regular season games and became a free agent at the end of the season.
On June 24, 2015, he announced he would miss the upcoming season due to a surgery he had on his right foot.
|Year||Team||GP||COMB||TOTAL||AST||SACK||FF||FR||FR YDS||INT||IR YDS||AVG IR||LNG||TD||PD|
- GP: games played
- COMB: combined tackles
- TOTAL: total tackles
- AST: assisted tackles
- SACK: sacks
- FF: forced fumbles
- FR: fumble recoveries
- FR YDS: fumble return yards
- INT: interceptions
- IR YDS: interception return yards
- AVG IR: average interception return
- LNG: longest interception return
- TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
- PD: passes defensed
- "Cornerbacks 2004", Rivals.com, January 28, 2004
- "2008 NFL Draft Cornerbacks ranking", NFLDraftScout.com, April 2008
- "2008 NFL Draft Cornerbacks ranking", Sports Illustrated, April 2008
- "Antoine Cason Draft Profile", Sports Illustrated, April 2008
- "Antoine Cason Draft Profile", NFLDraftScout.com, retrieved January 12, 2010
- "Cason Coming To Cardinals". Archived from the original on 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
- Sessler, Marc. "Panthers sign Tiquan Underwood, Antoine Cason". NFL.com. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- Newton, David. "Panthers waive Antoine Cason". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "Carolina 20 - 14 Tampa Bay: Final | 2014-09-07 | National Football League | Yahoo! Sports". sports.yahoo.com.
- [permanent dead link]
- Florio, Mike (October 6, 2014). "Antoine Cason learned how to punch out the ball from Charles Tillman".
- Alper, Josh. "Ravens sign Antoine Cason". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Ex-Ravens Corner Antoine Cason has surgery and won't play this season". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- "Antoine Cason Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
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