The Arizona Wildcats football program took a hit when head coach Jedd Fisch left the team to take the head coaching job with former conference rivals Washington Huskies. Fisch had coached the team for three seasons, going 16-21 overall. The team turned things around in 2023, winning 10 games and beating the Oklahoma Sooners in the Alamo Bowl.
This stems from the domino effect of Nick Saban’s retirement from the Alabama Crimson Tide. In turn, they hired Kalen DeBoer as their next head coach, replacing Saban. With Fisch departing Tucson for Seattle, Arizona looks for its next leader but must be prepared for players on their roster to hit the transfer portal. Which players could leave the Wildcats?
Five Potential Arizona Players Entering Transfer Portal
Jonah Coleman, RB
Arizona’s starting running back Jonah Coleman just completed his sophomore season with the Wildcats, putting up career highs. Coleman finished with 871 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 283 receiving yards and one score on the season.
Fisch praised Coleman throughout the season as he was able to do a lot for the Wildcats’ offense. Washington could be looking for a running back, so does Coleman join Fisch with the Huskies? The California native could look someplace closer home with the news of a new coaching staff coming into Tucson.
Tetairoa McMillan, WR
Since Tetairoa McMillan stepped on the Arizona campus, the Wildcats knew they had someone special. The Hawaii native racked up 1,402 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season with the team, a performance that was good enough to earn Third-Team All-American honors.
If quarterback Noah Fifita sticks around, that would be a good enough reason for McMillan to stay at Arizona. Knowing he is one of the top receivers in the nation, he might test the waters out and could land with a big-time program.
Jacob Manu, LB
Linebacker Jacob is a tackling machine for the Wildcats and has developed into one of their top defensive players. Manu finished the 2023 season with a team-leading 105 tackles, two pass deflections, 6.5 sacks, and one interception. As a result, the Arizona linebacker earned First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.
Entering his junior season, Manu could leave Arizona and transfer somewhere he might be more comfortable in another scheme. He’s on the rise to be one of college football’s best linebackers, and starting over with a new Wildcats’ staff may not offer the same developmental potential as a transfer to a bigger program.
Dalton Johnson, S
A hard-hitting safety, Dalton Johnson is a sure tackler who is strong in run support. Johnson finished second on the team with 86 tackles, two sacks, one pass deflection, one interception, and four forced fumbles.
The Katy, Texas native would get some looks at colleges near his hometown that could use an aggressive safety of his caliber. Johnson would land very quickly at another school, with his versatile skill set allowing him to be used as a hybrid safety/linebacker in the right scheme.
Tacario Davis, CB
Finishing up his sophomore year, Tacario Davis may not boast gaudy turnover statistics, but he is a true shutdown corner and doesn’t let many receivers make receptions on him. Furthermore, Davis led the team in pass deflections with 15, adding 25 tackles and one interception.
The transfer portal has seen plenty of talented cornerbacks looking for new teams, particularly during this last offseason. With Davis having at least two more years of eligibility, he could land at a new home and become an elite corner for another Power Five conference team.
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