Pending any unforeseen developments, Arizona’s 2021 football roster is now complete.
Coach Jedd Fisch confirmed Sunday the addition of three players for the upcoming season, including one who was part of the 2020 team. Wide receiver Ma’jon Wright, tight end Carson Cota and defensive lineman Mohamed Diallo have all been cleared by the UA’s compliance department and were in street clothes for the scrimmage inside Arizona Stadium.
The most notable of the trio is Diallo, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive tackle who played the previous two seasons at Central Michigan. Originally from Canada, Diallo started his college career at Arizona Western College in Yuma before signing with Texas A&M in December 2017; he played one game for the Aggies in 2018 before transferring to CMU, where he made eight starts and was an all-Mid American Conference first team selection in 2020.
“He’s an impact player for us, and we expect that we can get him ready to go for at least a few snaps,” Fisch said.
Fisch said Arizona had been pursuing Diallo since the winter, taking advantage of a prior relationship with defensive coordinator Don Brown. He said Diallo had to work during the summer, delaying his ability to get to campus.
Wright, a member of Arizona’s 2020 recruiting class, is back with the team for the third time. He played in all give games last season as a true freshman, starting twice and finishing second on the team with 15 catches, before entering the NCAA transfer portal after Kevin Sumlin was fired.
The 6-foot-2, 197-pound Wright withdrew from the portal two weeks later, only to go back in a few weeks after that and sign with Middle Tennessee. Wright participated in spring practice with the Blue Raiders before leaving that program and deciding to return to the Wildcats.
“He wanted to come back,” Fisch said of Wright. “I told him it would have been a lot easier if he never left.”
Fisch intimated that Wright may not be eligible to play this season, only practice, likely due to having been enrolled at Middle Tennessee.
The final addition, Cota, comes from an athletic family. Older brother Chase Cota is a senior wide receiver at UCLA, where he was recruited by current UA quarterbacks coach Jimmie Dougherty, and father Chad Cota played defensive back in the NFL from 1995-2002.
Carson Cota is a 3-star prospect who is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 1,746 player in the 2021 recruiting class, though Fisch belives that rating was skewed by the pandemic.
“If it wasn’t for a COVID year, he would have many, many opportunities,” Fisch said. “We’re very fortunate, we had a relationship with his family.”
Tight ends coach Jordan Paopao said Arizona’s playbook is “going to be a foreign language for a good amount of time” but he sees great upside in Cota.
“Any time you get a 6-foot-5 kid that’s almost 240 pounds right out of high school, it really stands out just in terms of body size,” Paopao said.
Arizona’s roster now stands at 118 players, with Cota and Wright bringing its freshman tally to 56 and its senior group (including Diallo) to 17.