Jedd Fisch’s move from Arizona to Washington is a risk

Jedd Fisch’s move from Arizona to Washington is a risk


Jedd Fisch did a phenomenal job during his three seasons at Arizona, the classic turnaround story from 1-11 his first season to 5-7 and then 10-3 this year which made him a hot name for every coach opening in college football.

It could have actually been even better than that this season for the Wildcats as they lost to Mississippi State in overtime, lost to USC in three overtimes and to Washington by a touchdown with the Huskies going on to play for the national championship.

And now Fisch is moving on for what he perceives as greener pastures at Washington after its coach, Kalen DeBoer, left for greener pastures at Alabama. The coaching dominoes fall yet again.

For those who whine and complain about how the transfer portal is negatively changing college football, for coaches who moan about roster management, Fisch is just the latest example of a coach upending college football players’ lives for his own gain.

If coaches can do it, players should be able to do it – and who knows – maybe half of Arizona’s roster follows Fisch to Seattle. Welcome to College Football 2024.

It certainly has the roster talent to play anywhere in the country.

Quarterback Noah Fifita is elite. Tetairoa McMillan is a future first-rounder the nation is not talking enough about after his season. Linebacker Jacob Manu (a teammate of Fifita and McMillan at Anaheim Servite) had 116 tackles this season and flies all over the field.

Fisch was building a legit contender in Tucson. He’s entering an uncertain future at Washington filled with potential but also many questions.

The Huskies team that will take the field next season is not the unstoppable offensive force that went to the national championship this year. No more Michael Penix. No more Rome Odunze. No more DeBoer, who led the Huskies to their best two-season stretch in program history as he wins about 90 percent of his games.

A lot of players are leaving for the NFL. Others including offensive lineman Nate Kalepo and basically the entire secondary including star defensive back Jabbar Muhammad have hit the transfer portal.

In Washington’s recruiting class, four-star defensive end Keona Wilhite and Noah Carter (whose new ranking will be released soon) have asked out of their national letters of intent. So far, Wilhite has heard from UCLA, Michigan State, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida and USC. Ironically, both Wilhite and Carter are from the state of Arizona.

Throughout his career, Fisch has proven not to stay long in jobs. The only time he’s stayed longer than two years prior to his three at Arizona was when he was an offensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens from 2004-07.

Since he left the Ravens, Fisch has been with the Denver Broncos, Minnesota, Seattle Seahawks, Miami, Jacksonville Jaguars, Michigan, UCLA, Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots before taking the Arizona job.

Fisch is a great hire but one wonders how long he’ll be at Washington before he finds perceived greener pastures somewhere else. And he’s coming to Seattle not inheriting a championship team like DeBoer did but something that will look entirely different.

At Arizona, Fisch was building something special, something with staying power that was catching the attention of many elite west recruits. He might have to recreate that magic with the Huskies and that does not happen overnight.


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