Strange spring brings RB Daniel Jenkins back to Arizona

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After a brief sabbatical at Washington State, running back Daniel Jenkins is back at Arizona for his senior season, ending one of the strangest stories of the offseason.

Jenkins left the Wildcats in January and announced his intention to transfer, only to return after spending the spring in Pullman, Wash., without ever officially joining the Cougars.

"He never really left," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez told the Arizona Daily Star. "He just took a tour -- a summer vacation. D.J. is a great kid and I'm happy he decided to end his career where he started."

Jenkins' original decision to leave was confounding, to say the least. Arizona had the No. 15 rushing offense in the nation last season, its first using Rodriguez's spread-option offense. Washington State, on the other hand, ranked dead last on the ground by almost every conceivable measure.

On 252 carries, the lowest tally in the FBS, Washington State averaged only 29 rushing yards per game and 1.38 yards per attempt under pass-happy coach Mike Leach.

The return of Jenkins gives Arizona another viable option should it try to ease up on star Ka'Deem Carey's workload. Carey carried the ball 303 times last season, one of only seven players in FBS to break the 300-carry threshold.

Jenkins was Arizona's third-leading rusher last season, with 293 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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