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Running back Daniel Jenkins won’t transfer, returns to the Arizona Wildcats

Daniel Jenkins

Daniel Jenkins rushes for a touchdown against Utah last month. Photo by Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona running back Daniel Jenkins, who was expected to enroll this summer at Washington State as a graduate transfer, will instead rejoin the Wildcats for his senior season.

Coach Rich Rodriguez made the announcement at the Arizona Road Tour stop in Sierra Vista on Friday night. Jenkins, when reached by TucsonCitizen.com on Friday night, chuckled and said, “It’s a long story.”

And apparently we might have to wait a few days for that story, as Arizona is planning media availability for Jenkins early next week. Jenkins didn’t want to comment further Friday night, saying, “I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.”

Jenkins said he was not in school last semester.

Jenkins, who rushed 67 times for 293 yards and two touchdowns last season, as the backup the national rushing leader Ka’Deem Carey, announced after the 2012 New Mexico Bowl that he was transferring from Arizona.

A few weeks later, he had picked Washington State, which has a wide-open running back situation, providing Jenkins the bigger opportunity he was seeking.

“I have only one year to show the world what I’ve got,” Jenkins told TucsonCitizen.com in December about his transfer.

“This was just a personal decision for my career. It was something I had to do. It was not something I wanted to do.”

Jenkins rejoins a backfield that includes senior Kylan Butler, sophomore Jared Baker and incoming freshmen Pierre Cormier and Zach Green.

Rodriguez actually talked about Jenkins’ return Wednesday on 1280-AM in Salt Lake City, although the hosts didn’t follow up with any questions as to the reasons.

“We feel he’s really a co-starter,” Rodriguez said on the radio. “He played quite a bit last season; he has a lot of experience. He’s a mature guy. We have a lot of confidence in Daniel Jenkins.”

Jenkins’ best game at Arizona came in the 2012 regular-season finale at Arizona State, when he carried 21 times for 78 yards when Carey was ailing with a sore collarbone.

When he announced his transfer in December, he said, “I will always be a Wildcat at heart.”

And he’ll still be one on the field.

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