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Cortez Johnson leaves Arizona, according to the Daily Star

Sophomore cornerback Cortez Johnson will leave the Arizona Wildcats to move closer to his home in Louisiana, according to Ryan Finley of the Daily Star, and his transfer marks the first significant loss of the Rich Rodriguez era.

The sophomore, who played heavy minutes for a freshman in 2011, will head back to his home state of Louisiana to be closer to home, according to the Daily Star. Johnson started two games because of injuries in the Wildcats' secondary and picked up 16 tackles on the year.

He's expected to land at former Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes' Louisiana Tech program, Finley writes.

At 6-foot-2 and nearly 200 pounds, the loss hurts the Wildcats who are in the midst of rebuilding the secondary after the departure of Trevin Wade and the ongoing recovery of young cornerback Jonathan McKnight, who is still at "70 or 80 percent" according to the Daily Wildcat.

Johnson's departure hurts because of what former head coach Mike Stoops believed to be a ton of potential. While one of the faster defensive backs on the roster, Johnson's physicality tabbed him as one of the more athletic players on the team, making him viable as a safety as well.