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Arizona football signs former UCLA defensive back DJ Warnell

arizona-wildcats-football-dj-warnell-ucla-bruins-transfer-recruiting-2022-nansen-kaufusi Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats have put together one of their best recruiting classes in school history, but there are still plenty of holes left to fill. The NCAA transfer portal figures to be where the UA turns for some instant help, and it got some of that on Wednesday in the form of ex-UCLA defensive back DJ Warnell.

The 6-foot-2, 201-pound Warnell appeared in 16 games in 2020-21 for the Bruins, playing safety and on special teams, registering nine tackles with two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Warnell was a 3-star prospect in the Class of 2020, signing with UCLA out of Dickinson, Texas. Arizona offered him in 2018 but he committed to the Bruins in 2019 without ever visiting Tucson.

The UA is expected to return all of its starters in the secondary but can always use depth on the back line. Among the 10 players that have transferred from the program since the 2021 season ended are backup defensive backs Malik Hausman and Rhedi Short as well as linebacker/safety Rourke Freeburg, who on Wednesday signed to play at Toledo for next season.

Warnell is technically the third ex-Bruin the Wildcats have added in the past two weeks. New defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen and defensive assistant Jason Kaufusi were also at UCLA last season.