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Former USC defensive tackle Noah Jefferson, who once had been committed to the Arizona Wildcats, will play for Arizona Western College this season.

Jefferson, a former four-star recruit, announced in March that he was headed to Tucson. He would have been eligible to play in 2018.

But in late July, UA coach Rich Rodriguez revealed that Jefferson wouldn’t be joining the Wildcats after all. Rodriguez didn’t specify why. According to program sources, some red flags came up during Jefferson’s background check.

Arizona ended up adding two junior-college defensive tackles for this season: Dereck Boles from Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College and Sione Taufahema from College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, California).

Boles could break into the starting lineup. Taufahema has been out all of training camp because of a knee injury but is expected back soon.

Arizona is scheduled to resume practice Monday morning after taking Sunday off.


Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering sports professionally since the early '90s. He started at the Star in 2015 after spending 15 years at The Orange County Register. Michael is a graduate of Northwestern University.