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Spring football practice begins Saturday for Arizona and coach Rich Rodriguez will be limited in his assessment of the wide-open quarterback position with Matt Scott exhausting his eligibility.
High-profile recruit Anu Solomon is completing his senior year at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman and junior college transfer Jesse Scroggins, a former USC player attending classes at UA this spring, is recovering from foot surgery.
“It’s something he probably needed to get fixed earlier in his career,” Rodriguez was quoted as saying by TucsonCitizen.com writer Anthony Gimino. “We had a choice. We could maybe try to play with it, but I’d rather have everybody 100 percent in August than have a question mark.
“He’ll be very limited this spring. We’re not sure what he can do. He won’t be in any full contact, but at least he’ll be able to sit in those meetings and learn schematically what we want to do.”
Rodriguez made it known to the media that the absence of Solomon and Scroggins from spring drills does not affect their chances to win the starting assignment.
“Nowadays, the high school kids can come in the summer and work out and train with the whole team, and they teach each other a lot in the summer,” Rodriguez was quoted as saying by Gimino. “You’re a little bit ahead as a quarterback or at any position if you’re here in the spring, but not so far ahead that a guy can’t come in and win a job.”
Senior B.J. Denker (who adequately started in place of Scott last year against a porous Colorado defense), redshirt freshman Javelle Allen and sophomore Nick Isham, a walk-on transfer who has starting experience at Louisiana Tech, will receive most of the reps at quarterback during the spring drills.
Denker is the only quarterback who has taken a snap for Arizona. Allen redshirted last season after being rated a three-star recruit from Prosper, Texas, and Isham was also with the team in a limited practice role.
With Arizona running a spread offense in which the quarterback is required to run the ball (with an increase possibility for injury), Rodriguez and his staff must rely on at least two to three quality quarterbacks.
“It’s not so much about finding a starter; it’s about finding guys we think we can win with,” Rodriguez was quoted as saying by Gimino. “Hopefully, there is more than one. We hope to find two or three at every position. That’s a question right now. We don’t know that.”
Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner