football Edit

TRANSFER NEWS: Arizona picks up commitment from UCLA lineman Tiaoalii Savea

UCLA defensive line transfer Tiaoalii Savea played in 10 games with the Bruins as a freshman in 2021.
UCLA defensive line transfer Tiaoalii Savea played in 10 games with the Bruins as a freshman in 2021. (Marcio Jose Sanchez | Associated Press)

Arizona continues to look like one of the big winners of the offseason as Jedd Fisch and his staff have stacked talent over the last several weeks. The latest piece to the program will be moving within the Pac-12 South. UCLA freshman defensive lineman Tiaoalii Savea has decided to leave Los Angeles to play for the Wildcats, he announced Tuesday evening.

The former four-star recruit played in 10 games as a freshman in 2021, and he finished with seven tackles, two quarterback hurries and a batted pass. He ended the season with his best performance as he totaled three tackles against Cal.

Savea entered the NCAA Transfer Portal less than a week ago as one of the many players to leave UCLA after the end of the season. USC recently hosted Savea for a visit, but he has connections to the Wildcats through new defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen.

The new UA assistant recruited Savea to play for the Bruins when he was also the defensive line coach the last two seasons.

Savea played his high school football at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, which was the home to former UA standout linebacker Tony Fields II.

Savea is the sixth transfer addition for the Wildcats since the end of the season, and Fisch and his staff have put together quite the haul in recent weeks. Since its final game against Arizona State, UA has added numerous key players including Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura and top receiver Jacob Cowing, who had over 1,300 yards receiving at UTEP last season.

Defensively, UA has added USC linebacker Hunter Echols, Michigan linebacker Anthony Solomon and UCLA safety DJ Warnell.

All those moves came after the Wildcats secured its top recruiting class in over a decade during the early signing period that was highlighted by the addition of five-star wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan.

In addition to pulling Nansen, Warnell and Savea away from the Bruins, UA also added UCLA linebackers coach Jason Kaufusi this offseason as well.

Savea, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, held over two dozen offers as a high school recruit. Oregon, USC, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State and Arizona State were some of the schools that pursued the new UA defensive lineman when he was making his original choice as a high school player.

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