Pulido, who found starting time along the offensive line as a freshman, has withdrawn his name from the transfer portal, per Pete Nakos of On3. This is not Pulido's first go-around when it comes to spurning better teams in favor of joining Arizona. Before he even made it to Tucson, he had flipped his commitment to Jedd Fisch and Arizona from Nick Saban and Alabama. When he entered the transfer portal just over a week ago, it was clear he was fielding offers from other schools that are traditionally much higher caliber. However, he will be the fourth returning starter along a high-quality offensive line that's only losing left tackle Jordan Morgan to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Washington, a four-star running back who has committed to join Arizona Football in the fall, doubled down on his commitment on Tuesday. Although he hasn't taken any snaps at the collegiate level, he profiles as a very similar player to Luke out of the backfield with his slender stature and breakaway speed. The two of them will compliment returning back Brandon Johnson's downfield bruiser-style of play very well.
Thomas was the second tight end to announce his return to Arizona on Monday. Despite being from Kent, Washington, which is just south of Seattle, Thomas spurned current UW and former Arizona tight ends coach Jordan Paopao to stay in Tucson. Despite not logging any stats in his freshman season, the departure of Tanner McLachlan for the NFL will open up opportunities at the position.
Burnett is the less-heralded fourth member of the quartet of players from Servite High School. However, he has deep ties to Arizona, which is where his father and former NFL linebacker Chester Burnett played during his college days. The former four-star prospect out of high school will return and presumably take up the starting tight end spot that McLachlan just vacated.
Moe, just a redshirt freshman in his second year at Arizona, earned All-Pac-12 second-team honors as a guard in the 2023 season. He announced his return via social media on Sunday, Jan. 21, further confirming that the offensive line seems to be in good shape.
Savaiinaea, an All-Pac-12 honorable mention at right tackle opposite Jordan Morgan, was one of four players featured prominently in Fifita and McMillan's announcement video. Although he wasn't speaking with the quarterback he protects and the top wide receiver, his clear inclusion in the video is a sign that he'll be back. If that wasn't enough, he doubled down by appearing in a second announcement video with Moe, which includes highlights from both of them.
Luke (no relation to Rayshon) is an incoming preferred walk-on from Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson that also produced former Wildcat and outgoing Montana transfer Stevie Rocker Jr. He reaffirmed his commitment to walking on in the fall and the chances of him securing a roster spot got much higher with the recent thinning of the running back room.
Jones, a redshirt freshman wide receiver poised for a much bigger role in the offense for 2024, has announced his return. The 6 foot 4 wideout has only recorded five catches for 27 yards over his two years with Arizona, but his size and the sudden thinning of the tight end room leaves space for another tall pass-catcher alongside McMillan.
Offensive guard signee Levelle Watkins was another one of the signees to confirm his intentions to sit pat. With the majority of the offensive line group staying together, Watkins doubled down on his Arizona commitment. The three-star prospect out of Apollo High School in the Phoenix area also paved the road for running back Adam Mohammed, who entered the transfer portal but could still return to bolster a thin running back room.
Four-year Arizona guard Leif Magnusson seems poised to return for his fifth and final year. Although this is far from a traditional announcement, his father, Quinn Magnusson, has reposted the Unfinished Business video and been vocal in support of Brennan over the course of the hiring process. It also appears that the Magnusson family is in favor of the hire of Josh Oglesby as the new offensive line coach.
JT Hand is a second-generation Wildcat and his return was confirmed on social media by his father and Arizona offensive line alum Bryan Hand. A three-year member of the Wildcats, he joined the team for Spring practices in 2021 and has remained a part of the stalwart front-line unit ever since.
Luke hasn't gotten a ton of usage over his first two years, but he's going to see the field plenty in 2024. With the losses of Michael Wiley and D.J. Williams to the NFL draft, Luke has flown up the depth chart and will be the starting running back if Jonah Coleman transfers to Washington. He's a former four-star recruit and in his limited touches, he's lived up to his nickname of "Speedy".
Fifita and McMillan were the driving forces behind a seismic culture shift in the 2023 season. When Fisch left for Washington and Brennan was placed at the helm, the entirety of the Arizona football community knew that keeping these two was priority number one.
In the second Arizona football hype video of the day, the two of them spoke of there being "unfinished business" before throwing up the "WC" hand sign and a highlight tape commenced. The pair chose to return to Arizona over Washington, yes, but primarily over Alabama. Talk about high praise. The return of these two is the most positive sign of more great football to come in the 2024 season for the Wildcats.
Doost is an incoming transfer offensive lineman from Northwestern who isn't backing down on his commitment. Though an official statement hasn't been (and likely won't be) released, his doubling-down four days after Fisch's departure alongside offensive line coach Brennan Carroll seems to mean he'll remain a Wildcat.
Dorman's stint in the transfer portal was short. After entering on Monday, Jan. 15, the former four-star quarterback recruit out of high school spent just two days evaluating his options before announcing his return. With Noah Fifita (and Tetairoa McMillan) staying, Dorman seems poised to battle with Cole Tannenbaum for the backup role.
Phelps and Tapley have taken a remarkably similar path to this point. The pair of incoming freshman wide receiver signees from the Phoenix area both took the same approach to reaffirming their commitments to Arizona. On Tuesday, Jan. 16, they both took to their personal X (formerly Twitter) accounts to retweet Arizona Athletics' announcement of Brennan's hire.
Phelps is a 6 foot 3 three-star signee from Queen Creek, Arizona, who finished his high school career with Arizona state records in receptions with 271, receiving yards with 4,475, and receiving touchdowns with 60. Tapley is a four-star signee from Scottsdale, Arizona, standing at 6 foot 4 who was also a standout safety in high school and held offers from Oregon, Arizona State, and Kansas, among others.
Other players who seem poised to return:
- Offensive linemen Josh Baker (center) and Joe Borjon (tackle)
- Wide receivers Montana Lemonious-Craig, Kevin Green Jr., and Malachi Riley
Guys to keep an eye on:
- Running back Jonah Coleman (committed to Washington, unsigned)