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Arizona football: Senior safety Tra'Mayne Bondurant leaves program

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Huge blow if it sticks

Ethan Miller

After Saturday's fall practice, Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez announced that senior safety and possibly the best defensive player, Tra'Mayne Bondurant, has decided to leave the team.

Coach Rodriguez said that Bondurant told his position coach, Matt Caponi, earlier in the day that he would not be coming back to the team.

Rodriguez also stated that he has not personally spoken to Bondurant since the decision was made, and essentially said never say never to Bondurant returning to the team at some point in the future.

Apparently Bondurant was disciplined for something that happened during the offseason, and his unwillingness to pay the consequences for that discipline is what led him to deciding to leave team.

Last year, he was a stud in the defensive backfield, picking off four passes, returning two of those for touchdowns. He also had two sacks.

The senior had high expectations coming into this season, and was possibly the best defensive player returning. After starting 12 games in each of the last two years, NFLDraftScout.com has him ranked as the 11th best free safety in the nation.

This obviously hurts the defense, and news on Saturday also came that incoming freshman Marquis Ware will likely miss all of fall camp due to a shoulder injury.

Expect junior Will Parks to play a much bigger role this season. He filled in nicely last year when Bondurant and Jared Tevis went down with injuries. This also forces the likes of Jourdon Grandon, David Price, and Anthony Lopez to really step their games up.