As Arizona continues to explore quarterback options in the transfer portal, one of the Wildcats’ returning veterans appears to be in good health.
Jordan McCloud, who suffered ankle and knee injuries at the end of the season Oct. 9 against UCLA, posted a video Wednesday showing him taking drops and throwing passes.
McCloud injured his right knee and ankle in a fourth quarter sacking against the Bruins. The ankle injury required surgery.
If Arizona doesn’t add a quarterback through the portal, McCloud will enter spring training as, at worst, the co-favorite to win the starting position.
McCloud arrived in Tucson last summer after being transferred from South Florida, where he had 26 touchdowns in 20 games over two seasons. Because he missed spring training, McCloud fell behind in the QB competition and started the season third on the depth board behind Gunner Cruz and Will Plummer.
After Cruz and Plummer faltered, AU coach Jedd Fisch turned to McCloud in the fourth quarter of the game with the NAU. He started the following week in Oregon, had 233 yards but also threw five interceptions. McCloud had completed 21 of 30 passes for 182 yards against UCLA before injuring himself.
Overall, McCloud completed 48 of 72 passes (66.7%) for 481 yards with two touchdowns and five picks. He also ran for 75 yards.
Unless Arizona add a veteran, McCloud’s main competition will be Plummer, who has started the last six games. Plummer completed 155 of 267 passes (58.1%) for 1,610 yards with six touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for two scores. Plummer threw for a career-high 346 yards in the season finale against Arizona State.
Cruz, who suffered a season-ending thumb injury on Oct. 16 against Colorado, is unlikely to be recovered in time to fully participate in the spring ball. Freshman Noah Fifita will also join the competition. He is one of the newcomers signing up this month.
The portal still contains several high-level quarterbacks who have yet to commit to new schools. Fisch and his team select the people they consider.
“When Jordan was leading the offense we were pretty good in Game 2 after he took out some of the problems,” Fisch said. ” It will get better. I’m not bringing in a portal guy to be a quarterback replacement. “
Curry at UCF
Former Arizona wide receiver Boobie Curry has announced his transfer to UCF.
Curry, a four-star Houston rookie in the 2019 class, set career highs with 21 catches for 233 yards and three touchdowns last season. He totaled 37 receptions and 390 yards during his UA career.
Curry entered the transfer portal in December, along with fellow receivers BJ Casteel and Jaden Mitchell. With Stanley Berryhill III, Tayvian Cunningham and Thomas Reid III having exhausted their eligibility, the UA Receiver Room will have a different makeup in 2022.
Newcomers include new freshmen Tetairoa McMillan, Kevin Green Jr. and AJ Jones, as well as transfer Jacob Cowing, who caught 69 passes for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns for the UTEP last season. Arizona will also benefit from the services of Ma’jon Wright, who was ineligible in 2021 after leaving the AU, transferred to Middle Tennessee state, and then returning to Tucson this summer.
The best returning receivers are Jamarye Joiner, Dorian Singer and Anthony Simpson.
Arizona has so far added four players through the transfer portal. Neither of them are offensive linemen, and that worries UA fans.
But Fisch believes that at least two “additions” to the program could have an immediate impact.
Similar to Wright, Davis DiVall was ineligible last season after being transferred from Baylor. After a year in the program, DiVall is expected to compete for a starting place in tackle or guard.
Fisch described new goalkeeper Jonah Savaiinaea as a “phenomenal player”. The three-star Honolulu rookie, who weighs 6-4, 340 pounds, is among the mid-year entrants in Arizona.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he left quickly,” Fisch said. “And then we’ll probably have one or two more here to move forward.”
Contact sports reporter Michael Lev at 573-4148 or [email protected] On Twitter @michaeljlev