Noah Fifita learned from Jayden de Laura and then pushed him out the door. Of course, that’s not by choice. But when Fifita took over for the injured de Laura earlier this season and immediately looked the part, it became clear Arizona had two starting-caliber quarterbacks. Both want to play. Both certainly can play. But only one can do so in Tucson.

So, with Fifita installed as the guy going forward for Arizona, de Laura is looking in the transfer portal for a new home. When he shared that news, Fifita’s father, Les, shared nothing but appreciation for the support de Laura has shown Fifita.

“People don’t understand what Jayden has done for our son,” Fifita’s father said on social media. “As an early enrollee, Noah came to Arizona with a roster full of QBs who’d already played. Jayden would push Noah to take reps, even giving him some of his own.

“He would encourage and lead. Until this day he’s still supporting our son in everything he does. Leaders always lead, especially when no one is watching. Love you always kid, some program is going to become winners instantly with you.”

Fifita only threw 19 passes as a true freshman in 2022. He backed up de Laura as the former Washington State passer took over in Tucson and led a resurgent season.

That year, de Laura threw for 3,685 yards and 25 touchdowns.

When he was injured during the Stanford game on Sept. 23, Arizona put Fifita in the game and never looked back. Fifita’s first start came against Washington and he nearly led an upset. After a two-point loss to USC, Fifita has led Arizona to six consecutive wins.

Fifita enters the postseason with 2,515 yards and 23 touchdowns. His play earned him the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award.

De Laura will be with Arizona for one more game — the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma on Thursday.