The 2018 season was set to be the third in a row with Nathan Eldridge starting at center for the Arizona Wildcats. But a preseason injury knocked him out for the entire year, in the process opening the door for someone else to take his job.
Now it appears that Eldridge will finish his college career elsewhere. Per WildcatAuthority.com, Eldridge is leaving the Arizona program and will seek to play as a graduate transfer in 2019. And though he hasn’t publicly announced such a move, Eldridge all but confirmed his departure by retweeting the story on Sunday.
The 6-foot-3, 292-pound Eldridge started 25 consecutive games at center in 2016-17 after redshirting in 2015, helping Arizona lead the Pac-12 in rushing both seasons and earning an honorable mention all-conference nod last year. He was in line to start again this fall, even appearing on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Award, before suffering a knee injury in training camp.
In his place the Wildcats turned to redshirt sophomore Josh McCauley, a walk-on who started all 12 games and helped Arizona once again have the conference’s top rushing attack at 202.4 yards per game.
McCauley’s performance all but locked up the starting job for 2019, and Arizona is also set to have Texas A&M transfer Robert Congel eligible after sitting out this past season, meaning Eldridge would likely have to switch to another position on the offensive line in order to see the field.
A potential destination for Eldridge is Oregon State, where former Arizona offensive line coach Jim Michalczik ended up after Kevin Sumlin put together his staff.