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Arizona football: Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jalen Cochran announces decision to transfer

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A potential future starter is gone

Jalen Cochran (81) participates in Arizona’s 2016 fall practice
Jason Bartel

Just a few weeks after completing spring practice, the Arizona Wildcats defensive front will be without one of the more valuable pieces going forward. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jalen Cochran announced his decision to transfer from The University of Arizona via his private Twitter account.

Cochran was a three-star linebacker out of the 2016 recruiting cycle that the staff picked up just a few days before National Signing Day over his hometown Michigan State Spartans.

Checking in at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Cochran was stationed on the defensive line once he arrived at Arizona. He was considered to be a projected starter at Arizona in the next few years.

Arizona has not had much luck on the defensive line in the past few years. The staff has been without JuCo products Josh Allen, Timmy Hamilton, or Anthony Fotu. On the recruiting front, the staff backed off of Jabari Watson and couldn’t hold Markell Utsey or Jake Burton in the 2016 class. In 2017, the staff parted ways with Matt Leo and Elijah Watson as well.

This offseason, Rich Rodriguez announced that fellow redshirt freshman Justin Holt would no longer be on the team due to medical concerns. Now, Francisco Nelson is the lone defensive lineman from the 2016 class.

In the 2017 class, Rich Rodriguez brought in early enrollee JuCo transfer Sione Taufahema, Kurtis Brown, Jalen Harris and My-King Johnson. There’s also a chance that Minnesota grad transfer Gaelin Elmore decides to join the team in the coming days.