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Arizona OT Layth Friekh, WR Shawn Poindexter granted extra year of eligibility

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Big news for 2018

Oregon State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats received some favorable news Thursday morning, learning that senior left tackle Layth Friekh and wide receiver Shawn Poindexter have been granted a fifth year of eligibility.

One caveat is Friekh is suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season, meaning he will be out against BYU and Houston.

Still, Arizona will happily take that tradeoff as Friekh’s return provides some stability to an offensive line which otherwise is basically one huge question mark heading into the offseason.

Only one other starter, center Nathan Eldridge, is set to return while o-line coach Jim Michalczik departed for Oregon State and his replacement has not yet been named.

Friekh has started in every game the last two seasons and has 33 career starts in total. The Glendale, Ariz. native was presumably given a fifth year of eligibility because he only played in one game as a freshman in 2014.

Poindexter’s return means Arizona will return four of its top five receivers in 2018 (Tyrell Johnson being the only one who won’t return), with Poindexter being the only one with notable size.

The former junior college product has spent two seasons at Arizona, but was nagged by injuries for most of 2016.

This year, the 6-foot-5 Poindexter has 14 catches for 223 yards and a touchdown — his best season to date.

Poindexter only played one season at Glendale Community College before transferring to Arizona, which is why he was granted an extra year.

He is considered a rather raw player, so another year of development and continuity with Khalil Tate could be exactly what he needs for a breakout season.

Poindexter and Freikh were teammates at Centennial High School.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire