Projecting Arizona Football's starting lineup in the 2024 season

Four months after initially projecting Arizona Football's starting lineup, we're taking another crack at who the starting 22 and top specialists will be for the 2024 season.
Oregon State v Arizona
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DE: Tre Smith

DT: Chubba Ma'ae

DT: Kevon Darton

DE: Stanley Ta'ufo'ou

Smith and Ma'ae have their spots guaranteed, but that's it. The only returning face anywhere on the two-deep along the defensive line is Ta'ita'i Uiagalelei, and his experience in an Arizona uniform may lead to him cracking the lineup over Darton or Ta'ufo'ou. Additionally, depending on how the coaching staff feels about the future, they may look to replace Darton with incoming freshman All-American Memphis transfer Jarra Anderson.

This is the position group that generates the most questions, and justifiably so. Will anybody be able to replicate Bill Norton's presence along the interior? Will any of the new guys maintain production or even get better? It all remains to be seen along the defensive trenches, and the best clue for how this will go over the season is Week 1.

LB: Jacob Manu

LB: Justin Flowe

This is as dynamic a linebacking corps as Arizona has had since the 2013 days of Scooby Wright, Marquis Flowers, and Jake Fischer. Manu has been a stud for Arizona since landing in Tucson and earned First-Team All-Pac-12 honors in 2023, while Flowe found his niche as a solid run-defender who brings an infectious energy to the defense.

CB: Tacario Davis

CB: Treydan Stukes

CB: Johno Price

Tacario Davis' return was one of Arizona's biggest retentions of the offseason. He spent a long time in the transfer portal, but the long ball-hawking boundary corner is running it back for what will likely be his final season before he goes pro. Wily veteran Treydan Stukes will reprise his role as the star, which is a hybrid DB-LB position, in his final year of eligibility and incoming JuCo transfer Johno Price will look to succeed Davis after the 2024 season.

FS: Gunner Maldonado

SS: Dalton Johnson

The safety tandem is a rock-solid pairing that's returning for one more year. Free safety Gunner Maldonado finally emerged as an impact centerfielder in his penultimate year of eligibility, while Dalton Johnson rose through the special teams ranks to finally crack the starting lineup and prove himself to be a big-hitter in the 2023 season.