In his first two seasons as the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats, Rich Rodriguez has used a plug-and-play system for finding his quarterbacks. Each of the last two seasons, Rodriguez has turned to first-time starting seniors to lead the team (with a great deal of success) but hasn’t been able to build any momentum at the position as those signal callers immediately move on. This fall, Rodriguez has finally found a quarterback he can build the Arizona program around after naming redshirt freshman Anu Solomon the starting quarterback in 2014.
Solomon was a major piece of the 2013 Arizona recruiting class after an illustrious prep career at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. As a four-year starter, Solomon led the team a 57-3 record and four state titles while passing for 10,112 yards with 138 touchdowns and only 17 interceptions. His ability as a dual-threat quarterback led many to believe he could make a run at the starter’s job last season but Rodriguez redshirted him to give him more time to absorb the playbook and physically develop while the team went with B.J. Denker under center.
That put Solomon in a strong position this offseason when the Wildcats found themselves in a four-way quarterback battle. Solomon ultimately beat out USC Trojans transfer Jesse Scroggins, LSU Tigers transfer Jerrard Randall, and Texas Longhorns transfer Connor Brewer in a highly competitive race for No. 1 QB. While Scroggins was a solid blend of athleticism and arm talent, Randall was possibly the most physically gifted of the bunch and Brewer had the strongest grasp of the offense, Solomon proved to be the right combination of athleticism, arm talent, and comfort with the offense to secure the starting job.
For Arizona, that means they might finally have found the pillar on which Rich Rodriguez can build this team around. While with the West Virginia Mountaineers, he did it with Pat White. With the Michigan Wolverines, he turned Denard Robinson into a star. And he did it because he had a chance to work with the quarterbacks for more than just one season. Can Anu Solomon be the next great Rodriguez dual-threat quarterback for Arizona?