Cornerback Cortez Johnson, who started two games during the Arizona Wildcats’ injury-riddled 2011 season, has left the team and will transfer closer to home, coach Rich Rodriguez said today.

Johnson, who grew up in New Orleans, is expected to land at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs’ head coach, Sonny Dykes, is a former UA offensive coordinator. 

“We’ll grant his release and wish him well,” Rodriguez said. “He’ll be playing, probably, at some Louisiana school.”

The 6-foot-2-inch, 196-pound Johnson played in eight games as a true freshman, registering 16 tackles and breaking up one pass. A favorite of former coach Mike Stoops, Johnson figured to compete for playing time in a wide-open defensive backfield this fall.

Johnson’s decision to transfer happened “in the last week,” Rodriguez said. NCAA rules mean Johnson must sit out the 2012 season. He'll be eligible to play as a third-year sophomore in 2013. 

The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.