Arizona loses LB Wagner, adds transfer QB
Linebacker Brian Wagner, who transferred to Arizona from Akron earlier this offseason and was the nation's leading returning tackler, is leaving the program.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, coach Rich Rodriguez confirmed that Wagner is no longer with the team and is returning home to Ohio. Wagner, a fifth-year senior who transferred to UA as a graduate student and therefore was eligible to play immediately, was second in the country last year with 147 tackles. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder took spring snaps at middle linebacker and was expected to start. It is not known if he will be continuing his football career at another school.
Rodriguez also said backup linebacker David Lopez has left the program. Lopez, who transferred to Arizona from Cerritos College prior to last season, had two tackles in eight career games.
The departures leave the Wildcats with just five scholarship linebackers: Jake Fischer, Robert Hankins, Hank Hobson, C.J. Dozier and Dakota Conwell. Of that group, only Fischer -- who missed all of last year with a knee injury but had 58 tackles as a sophomore in 2010 -- has meaningful experience.
Arizona added depth at another position, however, securing a transfer Monday from former Louisiana Tech quarterback Nick Isham, according to Scout.com.
Isham, entering his sophomore year, started at Louisiana Tech for the first half of the 2011 season and completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,457 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions before losing the starting job. He will not be eligible to play this season due to NCAA transfer rules but will compete for the starting job in 2013, as starter Matt Scott is a fifth-year senior.
Behind Scott on the roster currently are freshmen Josh Kern and Javelle Allen as well as junior-college transfers B.J. Denker and Alex Cappellini.
Isham was considered a dual-threat quarterback coming out of Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where he threw for 3,000 yards and 34 touchdowns while rushing 77 times for 581 yards and five scores as a senior in 2010.
Arizona also landed a commitment over the weekend from quarterback Tommy Woodson of Monroeville, Pa., adding another candidate to the 2013 battle. The 6-foot, 200-pounder is rated by Scout as a two-star prospect and the No. 74 quarterback nationally.