A little over a week into the job, new Arizona Wildcats coach Jedd Fisch has made his first scholarship offer. And as he indicated shortly after getting hired, he plans to be active in the transfer market.
The UA has offered running back Drake Anderson, who recently entered the NCAA transfer portal after leading Northwestern in rushing during the 2020 season.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Anderson ran for 256 yards and two touchdowns in seven games with the Wildcats as a redshirt sophomore, but he did not play in the Big Ten championship game that Northwestern lost 22-10 to Ohio State.
In 21 career games Anderson, who is originally from Chandler, Ariz., ran for 926 yards and five TDs and also had 10 receptions.
Anderson was a 3-star prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, picking Northwestern over offers from Illinois, Nevada and New Mexico State. He ran for more than 2,000 yards and scored 37 total TDs as a senior in 2017.
Fisch told reporters last week he planned to treat the NCAA transfer portal “in a similar fashion as you would use (NFL) free agency in regards to you go out there and you look to see who can figure need to help your team win, but also be a part of your culture and make sure that you don’t bring in guys that necessarily won’t help your team, even though they might have a certain skill set.”
Assuming senior Gary Brightwell opts not to take advantage of the NCAA granting all football players an extra year of eligibility, allowing him to return in 2021, Arizona’s top returning ball carrier will be sophomore Michael Wiley. Wiley ran for 222 yards and three TDs in 2020.
The Wildcats also have redshirt junior Nathan Tilford, redshirt sophomore Bam Smith and freshmen Frank Brown Jr. and Jalen John slated to return next year, while their early 2021 signees include 3-star prospects James Bohls and Stevie Rocker Jr.
Another transfer Arizona is likely to pursue is former Colorado LB/DE Jason Harris, who entered the portal on Thursday. Harris, the younger brother of UA redshirt junior LB Jalen Harris, chose the Buffaloes over the Wildcats last January but did not see action in 2020.