The NCAA transfer portal has proven to be a valuable recruiting tool for the Arizona Wildcats and new coach Jedd Fisch, and on Monday it officially produced results.
Arizona has announced the addition of four players who were at other FBS schools during the 2020 season, signing running back Drake Anderson, safety Gunner Maldonado, cornerback Isaiah Rutherford and defensive end Jason Harris.
Anderson, a Chandler native, ran for 956 yards and five touchdowns in 21 games for Northwestern. Maldonado, who was teammates with Anderson at both Chandler High School and Northwestern, appeared in three games as a freshman in 2020.
Rutherford, from Sacramento, appeared in three games for Notre Dame in 2020 as a redshirt freshman, while Phoenix-area native Harris, the son of former UA defensive standout Sean Harris and younger brother of redshirt junior linebacker Jalen Harris, did not appear in a game for Colorado this past season.
Harris, Maldonado and Rutherford will be listed as freshmen for Arizona while Anderson will be a sophomore, the result of the NCAA not counting 2020 toward a player’s eligibility. All four are expected to be eligible to play this fall, though the NCAA on Monday delayed voting on legislation that would allow a one-time transfer for all student-athletes. It’s unclear when/if that will happen now.
All told, Arizona has added five FBS transfers, with ex-Baylor offensive lineman Davis DiVall signing in December. The Wildacts also signed 14 high school recruits and one junior college player and have commitments from five other prep prospects who are expected to sign in February, most notably 3-star quarterback Clay Millen.