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Arizona football: Linebacker John Kenny leaving the program

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The Iowa transfer will graduate and will not play for the Wildcats in 2017, along with a couple of other defenders

Hawaii v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

John Kenny, who transferred to the Arizona Wildcats from the Iowa Hawkeyes, will only play one season as a Wildcat.

Michael Lev is reporting that Kenny is no longer part of the program, and will graduate. Other redshirt juniors that appear to have graduated and no longer listed on the official online roster are Calvin Allen and RJ Morgan. Allen and Morgan combined for three tackles last year. Also, wide receiver Abraham Mendivil is not on there.

After sitting out the 2015 season due to transfer rules, Kenny racked up 39 tackles in 2016, which ranked 5th on the team.

The 6-foot-1, 232 pound linebacker seemed to be a crucial piece to the 2017 Arizona defensive puzzle. The Wildcats already lost key linebackers Paul Magloire Jr. and Michael Barton due to graduation this offseason. Throw in Jake Matthews and Cody Ippolito, and Arizona has lost its five best linebackers statistically.

So who is the leading returner? Well, that would be Brandon Rutt, who finished the season with 19 tackles. Rutt will be a redshirt junior in 2017.

New linebackers coach Scott Boone will have to rely on a lot of inexperienced players during his first year in Tucson. You have to figure that guys like Kahi Neves and Carrington Vaughn will now be thrust into major roles on the Arizona defense. DeAndre’ Miller also returns, but after several years of injuries and not living up to the hype, you wonder how much he’ll be able to contribute.

Some current 2017 commits could also factor heavily into Boone’s linebacker rotation. Tony Fields, Colin Schooler, and Josh Brown are probably right at the top of the list of true freshmen that could potentially see the field for the Wildcats in 2017.