Star Arizona QB Fifita and WR McMillan won’t join Fisch with UW Huskies

Jan 20, 2024, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:08 pm

UW Huskies Noah Fifita and Tetairoa McMillan...

Tetairoa McMillan of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates with Noah Fifita on Nov. 25, 2023. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The UW Huskies need a new quarterback with Michael Penix Jr. graduating and multiple scholarship quarterbacks hitting the transfer portal. Washington is also in the market for receiver help as Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk are all entering the NFL Draft and Germie Bernard is in the transfer portal.

How Jedd Fisch’s Year 1 challenge compares to his UW Huskies predecessors

The Dawgs won’t be getting that help from two of new head coach Jedd Fisch’s top players last year.

247Sports reported Saturday that quarterback Noah Fifita and receiver Tetairoa McMillan will not be following Fisch to Washington and will instead stay at Arizona. The Wildcats confirmed that was the case on social media.

“They made the final decision on it last night,” Les Fifita, father of Noah, said. “It was tough but end of the day, they want to run it back and aren’t satisfied just winning the Alamo Bowl, they want to win it all.”

According to Fifita’s father, both Fifita and McMillan were also recruited heavily by former UW head coach Kalen DeBoer, who left Washington for Alabama last week.

Fifita was Pac-12 freshman of the year in 2023 after completing over 72% of his passes for 2,869 yards and 25 touchdowns to just six interceptions in 12 games (nine starts). His first career start at Arizona came against the UW Huskies when the Wildcats fell 31-24 at home.

McMillan was Fifita’s top target in 2023, catching 90 passes for 1,402 yards and 10 touchdowns in his true-sophomore season in Tucson.

That news certainly impacts things for Washington and Fisch, who likely hoped those two would be hitting the transfer portal.

At quarterback, the Huskies now will have to figure out what life after Penix looks like.

Will Rogers, UW’s expected starter in 2024 after transferring from Mississippi State, entered the transfer portal once DeBoer left, but he could always decide to return to Washington and play under Fisch, a longtime quarterbacks coach and offensive play-caller. Rogers was photographed (second picture in grey shirt with hand on side) at Fisch’s introductory team meeting on Sunday.

Austin Mack, a true freshman last year after being a highly-recruited quarterback, also entered the portal and followed DeBoer to Alabama. Will Haskell, who transferred to UW from San Diego State last offseason, also entered the portal. Former UW starter Dyaln Morris, Penix’s backup the last two seasons, transferred to James Madison this offseason.

At receiver, with Odunze, McMillan and Polk all NFL-bound and Bernard transferring again, the Huskies’ top returning receivers are Giles Jackson and Denzel Boston as well as receiver/running back Will Nixon.

Bruce Feldman: What Fisch brings to UW, biggest challenges he faces

UW Huskies

UW Huskies...

Christian Caple

Caple: Thoughts on Ana Mari Cauce, Big Ten and UW’s athletic budget

On Montlake's Christian Caple delves into three interesting topics surrounding the UW Huskies as they near their Big Ten debut.

1 day ago

UW Huskies helmet...

Christian Caple

UW transfer Logan Sagapolu ‘grateful’ for new start, position

Incoming UW Huskies transfer Logan Sagapolu is ready to make the transition from defensive line to offensive line in Seattle.

3 days ago

Pac-12 UW Huskies Jadelyn Allchin...

Cliff Brunt

Dominant Pac-12 softball nears end with realignment set to scatter programs

Current members of the Pac-12 have dominated softball for most of its existence. Those programs will spread out next year.

13 days ago

Pac-12 UW Huskies Oregon...

Christian Caple

Caple: The toughest game for each Pac-12 team as they enter new leagues

The 2024 college football season will find 10 of the former Pac-12 members playing in three different conferences.

14 days ago

UW Huskies Carson Bruener...

Christian Caple

Caple: Revisiting UW Huskies’ 2020 recruiting class, of which only 5 remain

Only five of the UW Huskies’ 23 signees from 2020 remain on the roster, as a group that ranked 16th nationally has become the first class at UW truly affected by the advent of the transfer portal.

16 days ago

Apple Cup logo UW Huskies WSU Cougars...

Brent Stecker

The ‘TV’ home for Apple Cup is set, may create some controversy

The TV broadcast of the 2024 Apple Cup from Lumen Field between the UW Huskies and WSU Cougars won't technically be on a TV station.

16 days ago

Star Arizona QB Fifita and WR McMillan won’t join Fisch with UW Huskies