Bit by bit, the 2023 Arizona football team is getting back together for 2024.
While the big announcement was Saturday, when dozens of Wildcats led by quarterback Noah Fifita and Tetairoa McMillan spilled onto the court at McKale Center during the Arizona/UCLA men’s basketball game to declare they had unfinished business, many other players who were expected to play a big role next season have posted confirmation of their returns. That includes offensive linemen Wendell Moe and Jonah Savaiinaea, who did so in a joint tweet on Moe’s account, and potential No. 1 running back Rayshon ‘Speedy’ Luke.
And now some Wildcats who left in the wake of Jedd Fisch’s sudden departure for Washington have reversed course, removing their names from the NCAA transfer portal.
Tight ends Keyan Burnett and Dorian Thomas will be back with the UA in 2024, both announced Monday.
Tucson Let’s Rock…— Keyan Burnett (@keyan_burnett) January 22, 2024
Burnett, who will be back for a third season alongside fellow Anaheim Servite High School alums Fifita, McMillan and linebacker Jacob Manu, played in all 13 games in 2023 with two starts, and has started four times in his two years at the UA. He had three catches for 24 yards, with most of his offensive snaps coming as a blocking tight end.
Thomas appeared in one game as a true freshman. Both will be in the mix for the starting tight end position with Tanner McLachlan out of eligibility.
Burnett and Thomas join redshirt freshman quarterback Brayden Dorman as Arizona players who have opted to return since Brent Brennan was hired as Fisch’s successor. The transfer portal currently includes seven Wildcats who haven’t committed to or signed with other teams.
The only projected starter Arizona has officially lost to another school is running back Jonah Coleman, who has transferred to Washington along with three other players—quarterback Demond Williams, running back Adam Mohammed and Indiana transfer cornerback Jordan Shaw—who signed with the UA in December. Cornerback Ephesians Prysock and offensive lineman Raymond Pulido are still in the portal and both were starters in 2023.