We’re less than a week away from the first game and Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez has been keeping a straight face when it comes to his starting quarterback.Through, in the past few weeks there has been some separation, but lets break down the top four candidates for the job.
The oldest Arizona Wildcats quarterback in contention is redshirt senior Jesse Scroggins, a former 5-star USC quarterback who didn’t see much of the field. He’s been in Arizona’s system for two years now and seems to be the most seasoned quarterback of the bunch. With speed comparable to Matt Scott and BJ Denker, Scroggins is also fairly accurate. Although he makes poor reads far too often, resulting in a negative play. Once thought of as the leader in the race, Scroggins will have to battle if he wants to be named the starter.
Next, we have redshirt junior Jerrard Randall, transfer from LSU. Much like Scroggins, Randall didn’t see the field all too much which led him to the Arizona Wildcats. Easily the strongest quarterback of the bunch, as he can throw the ball 70+ yards at the cost of his accuracy. Randall is having a hard time running the offense and seems to have a mental barrier, which is to be expected from a quarterback who only had six months to learn such a fast paced offense.
Dec 29, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Connor Brewer (7) warms up prior to kick off against the Oregon State Beavers at the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Another possible option is redshirt sophomore Connor Brewer, transfer from Texas. Coming out of Chaparrel High School (Scottsdale, AZ), Brewer went 41-2 and won three straight state championships. His former high school coach, Charlie Ragle, is now an assistant coach at Arizona and Brewer’s right hand man at Chaparrel, DaVonte Neal, is now eligible after transferring from Notre Dame last year. Former Texas teammate, Cayleb Jones, also transferred to the Arizona Wildcats just weeks before Brewer and is eligible this season as well. These familiar faces on the sideline certainly helped Brewer get accustomed to the offense. Although he’s more of a pro-style quarterback, Brewer still manages to run the offense effectively. However at this point Brewer seems to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the quarterbacking situation.
And now the youngest quarterback of the bunch, and perhaps the leader of the quarterback race, redshirt freshman Anu Solomon. Solomon is by far the most competitive guy in the race. Last year he was upset he had to redshirt, only because redshirting meant that he didn’t work hard enough to win the starting job. Understandable from a guy that started all four years at Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, NV) and went a combined 57-4, winning four straight state championships. But it’s amazing at what a year can do, as he seems to be the most “chill” as Rich Rodriguez likes to say. Lately he’s been taking the majority of the first team reps and has been getting a lot of positive words from Rich Rodriguez. As of now, it seems as if it’s Solomon’s job to lose within the next week.
For the sake of the future, it would be nice to see a quarterback that isn’t going to just start for one year and graduate. Should Scroggins be named the starting quarterback, that would mean five quarterbacks in five years going forward to next season (Foles, Scott, Denker, Scorggins). But Arizona has quite arguably the best receiver group in the country. With the sophomore duo of Nate Phillips and Samajie Grant, the emergence of Trey Griffey and the comeback of Austin Hill for his final year. Add transfers DaVonte Neal and Cayleb Jones, as well as incoming freshman Tyrell Johnson and this group has the potential to be the most explosive group in the country.
Four quarterbacks that can easily win the job and lead a high powered offense, but who do you want to see under center for the Arizona Wildcats? Let me know in the comment section below.