Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin and the Wildcats suffered a significant loss today with the announcement by senior linebacker Tony Fields II that he is entering the transfer portal as a graduate student.
Fields was a three-year starter who figured to bolster one of the stronger units of Arizona team — the linebacker corps — this season (if there is one because of COVID-19).
His transfer is one of the most noteworthy in program history. Some of the more notable include quarterback Anu Solomon (Baylor), quarterback Richard Kovalchek (Vanderbilt), receiver Patrick Onwuasor (Portland State, now in the NFL with the Ravens), linebacker Cody Ippolito (Utah), linebacker Keoni Bush-Loo (Hawaii), offensive tackle Michael Eletise (Hawaii) and cornerback Cortez Johnson (Oklahoma).
Dear Tucson: pic.twitter.com/yVssKUcBSE
Fields started all 37 games for the Wildcats at linebacker since arriving on campus as a true freshman in 2017.
He finished last season second on the team with 94 total tackles, including 58 unassisted. He finished with five tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, one interception and one forced fumble. He has totaled at least 89 tackles in each of his three seasons.
Fields finishes his senior season with 287 career tackles, which ranks 21st-most in program history. He also had 17 tackles-for-loss and 8.5 sacks in his career.
Provided there are no more defections, Arizona still has talented starters at linebacker with Jalen Harris (moving to linebacker from defensive end), Colin Schooler and Anthony Pandy.
Another linebacker, Dayven “Day Day” Coleman, transferred to Stephen F. Austin after last season.
Four safeties previously transferred out of Arizona this year: Troy Young, Scottie Young Jr. (also a three-year starter), Xavier Bell and Chacho Ulloa.
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.