Former USC football defensive lineman Noah Jefferson has committed to transfer to Arizona, leaving the Trojans for the Pac-12 rival Wildcats.
Just before the end of the 2016 regular season, Noah Jefferson revealed his intentions to transfer away from USC football after sitting out for most of the fall.
On Sunday evening, Jefferson finally revealed his future home, tweeting his intentions to join Rich Rodriguez’s team at Arizona.
“After talking it over with God and my family I would like to announce that I have committed to The University of Arizona,” Jefferson wrote on Twitter.
— Noah Jefferson (@noahjefferson_) March 6, 2017
Jefferson was supposed to be a key player for the Trojans in 2016 as a sophomore thanks to USC’s depth concerns on the defensive line. However, the player never got the chance to build on his strong freshman campaign.
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After pulling up injured in the season opener against Alabama, Jefferson never got back on the field for USC as he dealt with a variety of personal and academic concerns.
Head coach Clay Helton had initiation pegged his return for November, but that never came to pass and within a few weeks Jefferson announced his plans to leave the program.
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Losing Jefferson to a Pac-12 South rival is a concern for the Trojans. The defensive tackle was a key back up in 2015 and started in the Holiday Bowl against Wisconsin. His high ceiling was on display with 23 tackles on the year as a big body inside. Now he will strengthen the Wildcat defensive front, though not this year as he must sit out a season due to NCAA transfer rules.
The good news is that USC has strengthened inside as well.
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Despite losing Stevie Tu’ikolovatu to graduation, the Trojans return starter Rasheem Green and will welcome back former five-star prospect Kenny Bigelow from the injury which held him out in 2016. They’ll also have JC transfer Josh Falo established in Year 2 while Christian Rector, Malik Dorton and Jacob Daniel will look to raise their profile in 2017.
The Trojans have also bolstered the defensive line with top recruits Marlon Tuipulotu and Jay Tufele, who could be instant contributors as freshmen.