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Arizona football: Dereck Boles in, Noah Jefferson out for Wildcats

Some defensive line updates from Rich Rodriguez

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State
USC transfer Noah Jefferson will not be joining the Arizona Wildcats after all
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

College football recruiting is weird.

The Arizona Wildcats had originally received a verbal commitment from former Boise State defensive lineman Dereck Boles back in May, but a month later, he changed his mind and flipped to South Florida.

Yet, now he is in Tucson for the 2017 season, and will be joining Arizona after all.

"It’s not 100 percent yet, because he’s got some academic work he’s got to finish up, but we expect Dereck Boles to be part of our program pretty soon," Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez told reporters at Pac-12 Media Day.

Boles, a 6-foot-3, 290 pound defensive tackle, will be eligible to play this season pending academic clearance. It’s a big boost for UA’s defensive line if he can work his way onto the field.

Boles played for Arizona defensive coordinator Marcel Yates at Boise State before the latter left for Tucson. Now they’re reunited.

While Arizona is expecting to have Boles on the roster, the Wildcats will be without highly-touted USC transfer Noah Jefferson.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound defensive tackle will not be on Arizona’s roster, Rodriguez said.

Jefferson announced his transfer to Arizona in March, but evidently things did not work out.

Jefferson, a sophomore, would have had to sit out the 2017 season, but could have been a key figure on defense for the Wildcats in 2018 and 2019.

And lastly on the defensive front, it appears as if the injury bug is already hitting early. DeAndre’ Miller did not attend Pac-12 Media Days because of a foot injury, now defensive tackle Sione Taufahema is dealing with an injury.

“He had a little injury issue,” Rodriguez said at Pac-12 Media Day. “He gained a little bit of weight, so he's got to drop some weight and get in shape before he can contribute. But if he gets in shape in the next month, he can help us.”

Taufahema, a 6-foot-3, 310 pound transfer from College of the Canyons, enrolled early this spring. He was expected to compete at nose guard with Parker Zellers, and still can, if he gets back into shape and heals up.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez said Miller is dealing with a “stress thing” in his foot, and had surgery last week, reports Michael Lev of the Arizona Daily Star.

Rodriguez said he hopes Miller will be back for the season opener on Sept. 2 against NAU.