UW HUSKIES

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.

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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.

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