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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football roster: which players are remaining amid coaching changes

Olivia Malone
UA football players make their way onto their home field for the first game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 2, against NAU. The game was victorious for the Wildcats, who secured a 38-3 win.

The No. 9 Arizona men’s basketball team staged a triumphant comeback win against UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 20. However, the victory was not the only cause for celebration among Wildcat fans.

Returning current players

During the first media timeout, a video was shown in which star Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita and his top receiver, Tetairoa McMillan, announced their decision to return to Arizona amid rumors of a potential transfer due to Jedd Fisch’s departure. Linebacker Jacob Manu, offensive lineman Jonah Savaiinaea, defensive back Gunner Maldonado, strong safety Dalton Johnson, cornerback Treydan Stukes, among others, also elected to continue their football careers at Arizona. Then there’s redshirt freshman Brayden Dorman, who had entered the transfer portal, but three days later on Wednesday, Jan. 17 withdrew his name and posted a message on his X account in support of the new head coach. More recently, tight ends Dorian Thomas and Keyan Burnett, along with cornerback Tacario Davis, have all withdrawn their names from the transfer portal, and on Monday, Jan. 22, Thomas and Burnett announced they would be staying at Arizona. As of Thursday, Jan. 25, freshman offensive lineman Raymond Pulido has also withdrawn his name from the transfer portal and will be officially retuning back to Arizona. Although Davis never made any official announcement he will also be staying at Arizona to play under new head coach Brent Brennan.

Roster stability amid coaching changes

The return of these players was significant news for the Wildcats, given that multiple players entered the transfer portal once Brennan officially took over.

Notable departures and transfers

 Junior linebacker Daniel Heimuli, redshirt sophomore defensive linemen Isaiah Ward are among the few Wildcat players still in the portal who haven’t committed to or signed with other teams.

Notable departures include junior defensive tackle Russell Davis II (committed to Washington to reunite with Fisch), sophomore cornerback Ephesians Prysock (committed to Washington to reunite with Fisch), redshirt freshman transfer from Indiana University Jordan Shaw (committed to the University of Washington to reunite with Fisch), sophomore safety Isaiah Taylor (committed to the University of Miami), sophomore running back Stevie Rocker Jr. (committed to the University of Montana), senior defensive lineman Orin Patu (committed to Bethune–Cookman University), junior cornerback Charles Yates Jr. (committed to Old Dominion University), sophomore defensive lineman Jacob Kongaika (committed to ASU), sophomore running back Jonah Coleman (committed to Washington to reunite with Fisch and former Arizona running backs coach Scottie Graham) and junior defensive lineman Tiaoalii Savea (committed to the University of Texas at Austin, reuniting with Arizona’s former defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen). 

Recruiting updates post-Fisch

Fisch’s departure also had an impact on the incoming 2024 recruiting class. On Sunday, Jan. 21, four-star quarterback Demond Williams and three-star running back Adam Mohammed decommitted from Arizona and followed Fisch to Washington. Three-star Las Vegas wide receiver Audric Harris decommitted from Arizona as well. However, the Wildcats managed to retain other 2024 recruits and add some transfer players themselves, including wide receiver Brandon Phelps, who reaffirmed his commitment to Arizona. Other top recruits include wide receiver Dylan Tapley and running back Jordan Washington. As for the transfers, coming from the University of California, Davis defensive lineman Chubba Maae, the University of Tennessee safety Jack Luttrell and Northwestern University offensive lineman Alexander Doost are expected to attend Arizona in 2024.

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