My dd did submit the Common AP essay, but the instructions clearly said it was not necessary. She just thought she would because it was done, and so why not? I don’t know about whether it is needed for honors or not since she is an auto-admit.
Your son’s stats look great…You’ve probably already seen this from the UA honors college site about the profile of their honors students, but I’ll stick it here anyway:
To give you an idea of our typical admissions profile for an incoming honors freshman, below are the averages for fall 2019:
3.89 unweighted core high school GPA
1423 SAT score (math and critical reading)
31.1 ACT composite score
9-12 Honors/AP/IB classes taken in high schoo