The NCAA transfer portal unofficially closes on Sunday, and at least one more Arizona football player is putting his name in there before then.
Wide receiver Jalen Johnson, who would have been a fourth-year junior this fall, is the fifth Wildcat to enter the portal since spring football began in March. Unlike the others, though, he has extensive playing experience.
Johnson, a 3-star prospect from the 2019 recruiting class, played in 19 games from 2019-21, starting twice as a true freshman in 2019. He caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in his UA career, grabbing four receptions for 37 yards last season.
The 6-foot-3 Johnson was suspended for the shortened 2020 campaign for violating team COVID protocols.
Johnson’s departure still leaves Arizona with eight scholarship receivers, four of which joined the program in January. Likely to be far down the depth chart at that position, his best shot to play for Arizona in 2022 was going to be on special teams.
College football players must enter the portal by May 1 in order to be eligible for the 2022 season, so Johnson would be able to play this fall. The same goes for the UA’s previous portal entrants this spring, all freshmen who did not see action last year: tight end Colby Powers, linebacker Jackson Bailey, defensive back Jakelyn Morgan and walk-on quarterback Brayden Zermeno.
Morgan has already committed to play at Louisiana Tech while freshman offensive lineman Luke Eckardt and freshman defensive back Logan Kraut, who both entered the portal prior to spring ball, have committed to Colorado and UC-Davis, respectively.