The regular season ended last weekend for most college football teams, including Arizona, and since then there’s been an unfathomably large number of players who have begun the process of looking for a new team by putting their names into the NCAA transfer portal.
According to Rivals.com, as of Friday only nine of 130 FBS schools had not seen a player leave the program since August, with UA coach Jedd Fisch saying he’s been told that more than 500 players have entered the portal since Monday.
“I think it’s over 350 in Power Five alone of guys that have gotten into the portal and that’s just since Monday, so it is wild and crazy in that regard,” Fisch said.
At least to this point, though, Arizona hasn’t seen nearly as much of a personnel exodus as was anticipated. Only three Wildcats have entered the portal since the 2021 season ended with last Saturday’s loss at ASU, and none made significant contributions in the fall.
The players the UA has lost are:
* Freshman CB Javione Carr, a 3-star prospect from Texas who was Arizona’s second-highest signee in the Class of 2021. He did not appear in a game during his lone season with the UA.
* Junior TE Stacey Marshall Jr., a junior college transfer who was part of the 2020 signing class who appeared in eight games, including six in 2021, but did not have any receptions.
* Redshirt freshman WR Jaden Mitchell, who was originally part of the 2018 class but grayshirted that first year because of a knee injury. Mitchell only appeared in one game in three seasons with the Wildcats, missing all of 202 with another injury.
The UA has actually said goodbye to four players who still had eligibility remaining. Fifth-year junior wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III, who led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 2020 and 2021, declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday.
It’s very unlikely the UA won’t see more departures, whether it be from the 10 players who participated in Senior Day activities last month but who still have eligibility left or the dozens of freshmen and sophomores who have seen little or no game action at the school.
The program would prefer any of those planning to leave to wait until at least Dec. 15. That’s when they would count toward an extra seven spots that the NCAA approved for teams to be able to use to replace scholarship athletes beyond the normal allotment of scholarships they can dole out.
Fisch said last week Arizona has 23 scholarships available to sign players, and it currently has 15 known commitments in the 2022 class ahead of the start of the early signing period that starts Dec. 15.