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Defensive end Jalen Harris to return to Arizona for sixth season

arizona-wildcats-football-jalen-harris-return-2022-senior-desert-swarm-jedd-fisch-transfer-nfl Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images

Finally, some good news on the player movement front for the Arizona Wildcats.

Defensive end Jalen Harris announced Friday he would return to school for a sixth season, passing up the opportunity to turn pro or transfer to another school.

Harris, one of several Wildcats who participated in Senior Day activities last month but who still had eligibility remaining, is the first of that lot to decide to come back to Arizona for 2022. Wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III declared for the NFL Draft while linebacker Rourke Freeburg and defensive backs Malik Hausman and Rhedi Short were among the nine UA players who have entered the NCAA transfer portal since the season ended.

Harris is coming off his best season, registering 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss along with 47 total tackles, four pass breakups and a forced fumble. He started all 12 games in 2021 and his 28 career starts are most of any current UA player (unless offensive lineman Donovan Laie, who has 39 career starts, opts to return despite walking on Senior Day).

For his career, Harris—the son of ex-UA athletes, including former Desert Swarm-era captain Sean Harris—has 121 tackles (18.5 for loss) and 10 sacks for his career.