Former top quarterback recruit Connor Brewer announced that he would be coming home to play for the Arizona Wildcats after transferring from the Texas Longhorns. The Scottsdale native made it official on his Twitter account and will be adding his strong-armed talents to the mix in the desert. While he isn’t the prototypical Rich Rodiriguez style of quarterback, Brewer bears a striking resemblance to last season’s starter, Matt Scott, who had so much success in 2012.
Scott struggled early in his career to find a role within the Wildcats offense, but quickly found success once Rodriguez took over. In his one season as a starter, Scott was one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the Pac 12, completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 3,620 yards with 27 touchdowns. His ability to move in the pocket, throw on the run and get the ball down the field made him an excellent fit for Rodriguez’s spread attack, even if he didn’t make that many plays in the running game.
Brewer has much of the same build as Scott did. Coming out of high school, Brewer showed excellent accuracy and the ability to make every throw on the field. He came out of a pocket passing system, but displayed better athleticism than he gets credit for. The ability to make some plays with his legs is there and he is frustratingly elusive in the pocket for defenders trying to bring him down. Brewer has shown the ability to extend plays, keep his eyes down the field and throw on the run. His quick release also helps keep him upright in the face of a pass rush.
The biggest hurdle for Brewer finding success at Arizona is the presence of Anu Solomon. Even as an incoming freshman, Solomon is expected to find a role in the Arizona offense. His athleticism and ability to make plays with his legs fits the traditional mold of quarterback that Rodriguez tends to prefer. If he is able to quickly grasp the offense and take command of the huddle, he will likely be entrenched as the quarterback for the next four years.
Following the one year he will have to sit out due to transfer rules, Brewer will have three years of eligibility remaining. That puts Solomon and Brewer in Tucson for the same amount of time, making it hard to imagine both of them getting the playing time they want. If Solomon proves to be the long-term answer at quarterback, Brewer might be relegated to a career as a backup.
But if Rodriguez sees enough of Scott in Brewer, perhaps the coach could turn over a new leaf and start trusting the arm of his quarterback more than his legs. If Brewer can seize the starting job, Solomon has the athleticism to make it work at multiple positions in the offense, so he can move around. His dynamic playmaking ability won’t go to waste, but he would have to let go of his hold on the quarterback position first.
The future of the quarterback position is crowded for Arizona all of a sudden, but could be one of the strengths of the team for years to come. Who ends up winning out as the quarterback of the future? Matt Scott 2.0 or the next Denard Robinson?