Much like it did a year ago in revamping the offense, Arizona wants to retool the defense mostly via high school prospects while picking up key additions from the NCAA transfer portal.
We’ll see just how the Wildcats did at the prep level on Wednesday, when the Early Signing Period begins. As for the transfer market, the UA just landed a huge 1-2 punch for its defense.
Arizona has earned commitments from former Oregon linebacker Justin Flowe and ex-Georgia defensive lineman Bill Norton, the third and fourth transfer pickups this offseason.
Next chapter. Let’s work. #beardown pic.twitter.com/DVvpGpeUjU— Bill Norton (@billlnorton) December 19, 2022
COMMITTED. BEAR DOWN ⛓ #ZONAZOO pic.twitter.com/6AZYzcmxwU— Justin Flowe (@justin_flowe) December 19, 2022
Flowe is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound former 5-star prospect from the 2020 class (No. 6 overall, per 247Sports) class who appeared in 12 games the last three seasons for Oregon, including 10 this past season. He had 35 tackles (2.5 for loss) in 2022, registering four tackles in the Ducks’ 49-22 win at Arizona in October.
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Norton appeared in 26 games over the past four seasons for Georgia, which won the College Football Playoff last January and is the No. 1 seed in this year’s playoffs. Norton played in all 13 of the Bulldogs’ games this season, logging three tackles with one for loss.
Norton signed with Georgia in the 2019 recruiting class as a 4-star prospect. Per 247Sports, he was the ninth-best strong-side defensive end in that class and the No. 4 prospect from Tennessee.
Flowe will have three years of eligibility remaining, while Norton has two seasons left to play.
Arizona has secured commitments from four transfers since the 2022 season ended, getting former UCLA defensive lineman Tyler Manoa last week and ex-Cal linebacker Orin Patu on Saturday.
The pickups of Flowe and Norton come as another of the UA players who entered the transfer portal has found his next school. Cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace, who started 37 games for the UA from 2019-22, has committed to USC, where he will rejoin former Wildcat teammate Kyon Barrs with the Trojans.