football Edit

Transfer news: Notre Dame CB Isaiah Rutherford is headed to Arizona

Arizona landed its most notable addition under new head coach Jedd Fisch on Thursday afternoon as former four-star recruit Isaiah Rutherford announced his plans to join the Wildcats after previously announcing his decision to transfer from Notre Dame earlier in the week.

The California native was rated as the 110th-best recruit in the 2019 class by and was one of the top recruits at his position to sign with the Irish under current head coach Brian Kelly. Alabama, USC, Oklahoma, LSU and Oregon were some of the schools that offered the big cornerback from the Sacramento area.

However, Rutherford was only able to play in three games during the 2020 season after redshirting as a freshman prompting a move to a new program. The Wildcats were one of the programs that offered and pursued the 6-foot-1 defensive back as a high school recruit, but he narrowed his options down to other programs before deciding on Notre Dame.

Rutherford is the fourth addition to the roster for Arizona this week that the coaching staff has pulled from the NCAA Transfer Portal, but he is the first without any direct ties to the state. Colorado defensive end Jason Harris, Northwestern running back Drake Anderson and Northwestern safety Gunner Maldonado all are Arizona natives and will be returning home to play for the Wildcats.

Another Arizona native, offensive lineman David DiVall, previously made the decision to leave Baylor and sign with the Wildcats last month giving UA five transfers this offseason.

Rutherford did not register any stats for the Irish but he racked up 50 tackles and three interceptions as a high school player in California.

UA named its defensive coordinator on Thursday as former Michigan DC Don Brown will be leading the Wildcats on that side of the ball with Chuck Cecil and DeWayne Walker tasked with coaching the defensive backs.

The Arizona cornerback group will have to replace longtime starter Lorenzo Burns who decided not to take advantage of an extra season of eligibility the NCAA is awarding all players because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA is also soon expected to vote and pass a one-time transfer rule that would allow a player like Rutherford to become immediately eligible next season.

If that is the case he will have four seasons of eligibility left with the Wildcats.


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