If you had the Arizona Wildcats football program as the next school to feel the portal’s sting, collect your winnings. Or something.
247Sports.com was the first to report that Xavier Bell has taken the first step in leaving the Pac-12 school. An Arizona Wildcats football official subsequently confirmed that the defensive back is in the NCAA transfer database.
A redshirt sophomore, Bell will be leaving the Wildcats as a graduate transfer. That will allow him to use the first of his two seasons of eligibility in 2020 at another FBS school.
Bell was a three-star 2017 signee. The California native was rated as the No. 73 safety in the country on the 247Sports.com composite.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Bell played in 22 games the past two seasons. Of those, 10 appearances came in 2019. During his time with the Wildcats, Bell has been credited with 21 tackles, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery. He also blocked a punt in 2018.
Bell is one of a handful of players at his position who have left the program. From Michael Lev of the Arizona Daily Star:
Arizona hasn’t lost as many players to the transfer portal since the start of the 2019 season as some of its Pac-12 rivals. But four players played safety at one point or another: Bell, Day Day Coleman, Maurice Gaines and Chacho Ulloa.
At the moment, just four Arizona Wildcats football players are listed in the portal.
The development involving Bell comes a couple of weeks after the revamping of the defensive coaching staff was completed.