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Running back Anthony Mariscal announces transfer from Arizona

anthony-mariscal-arizona-wildcats-running-back-safety-transfer-college-football Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Mariscal made the switch from defense to offense in 2018, a move that enabled him to get some meaningful touches for the Arizona Wildcats this past season. Whether he continues on that side of the ball will likely depend on where Mariscal finishes his college career.

Mariscal announced on Monday, via Twitter, that he is leaving the program and will look to transfer to another school for his final season. He plans to earn his criminal justice degree in May, which would enable him to play immediately as a graduate transfer.

Mariscal appeared in all 12 games for Arizona last season, rushing 17 times for 93 yards with a touchdown and catching one pass for three yards. His best performance came against Southern Utah when he ran for 60 yards and a TD on nine carries.

A two-way star at Liberty High School in Bakersfield, Calif., Mariscal was recruited to Arizona as a defensive back in the 2015 class. He redshirted that first season then played in eight games in 2016, starting once at the spur safety position, and finishing with 19 tackles including one for loss.

Mariscal appeared in just one game in 2017, thus prompting his desire to switch to offense. In September he told reporters that he broached the subject with new coach Kevin Sumlin last winter and was told he could “go ahead and be in the (running backs) room.”

Arizona has now lost four players to either transfer or NFL Draft early entry since the 2018 season began. Nathan Eldridge, who started at center in 2016-17 but missed last year with a knee injury, left to be a grad transfer at Oregon State, defensive tackle Kurtis Brown announced his departure after two seasons on Christmas Eve and defensive tackle PJ Johnson declared for the draft after one year with the Wildcats last week.