The Arizona Wildcats have been very welcoming to transfer players over the last two seasons. Normally, however, those transfers have been coming to Tucson to play for Rich Rodriguez on the offensive side of the ball and get a piece of the wide-open, fast-paced action. In 2014, however, Arizona will welcome a much-needed addition to the defensive side of the ball with the graduate-transfer of defensive end Jordan Allen from the LSU Tigers.
After missing most of the 2012 season with a knee injury, Allen was a major contributor for the Tigers in 2013. He started the first three games of the season and appeared in all 13 as he accumulated 16 tackles and two sacks as a junior. Many figured that Allen would be a key veteran piece of the defensive rotation in Baton Rouge next season, though the door was certainly open for younger talent to make a move to steal playing time.
Now, Allen joins an Arizona defense that finished No. 8 in the Pac-12 last season in total defense and No. 9 in sacks. Rodriguez will likely turn to Allen as a possible replacement for departed senior Sione Tuihalamaka, who led the team in 2013 with five sacks. The Cats have just one defensive lineman returning for 2014 who recorded more than one sack last season (Reggie Gilbert, 4.0), so adding Allen to the mix will be a major boost for the group.
As a graduate transfer, Allen will be able to play right away next fall and should make an immediate impact. The 6-foot-6, 253-pound senior has plenty of talent to make an impact off the edge and will be a fixture in the defensive rotation for Arizona’s 3-3-5 defense in 2014.