Arizona fourth-year junior quarterback Anu Solomon announced on Instagram this morning that he will play his last season for a different program.
“God has a plan for me,” Solomon wrote on his post. “I’ve prayed for direction, patience, and knowledge to know when it comes, and it is with a heavy heart to announce that I am transferring from The University of Arizona.”
Solomon is set to graduate as an economy and industry major in the spring and will likely be a graduate transfer, allowing him to play immediately next season for another program.
He prepped at Bishop Gorman High School under coach Tony Sanchez, who just completed his second season at UNLV. Playing for the hometown Rebels for his former high school coach is a no-brainer. UNLV used three quarterbacks (Johnny Stanton, Kurt Palandech and Dalton Sneed) extensively this season but none threw for more than 676 yards.
Sneed also announced Tuesday that he is transferring from UNLV. Stanton and Palandech have eligibility remaining in 2017 but it would be difficult for Sanchez to bench his former star quarterback, if indeed Solomon transfers to UNLV.
Solomon leaves Arizona as its fourth-leading quarterback in school history with 6,922 career passing yards, less than 700 yards from the No. 3 quarterback Tom Tunnicliffe (7,618 yards from 1980-83).
ARIZONA CAREER PASSING YARDS LEADERS
Most of Solomon’s success occurred in his redshirt freshman season when he was part of Arizona’s Pac-12 Southern Division championship team. His last two seasons have been marred by concussions and ankle and leg injuries.
“Through much adversity, I will never forget those who supported me, stuck by me, and believed in me; God, my family, my girlfriend, and close friends,” Solomon writes. “From highs and lows, and the unlucky injuries I suffered from the past 2 seasons, I am blessed to have a fresh start at another program to finish out my senior year. Thank you Tucson, & GOD BLESS!”
Solomon started all 14 games in 2014, becoming the first freshman ever to start a season opener for Arizona. He totaled 3,793 passing yards with 313 completions in 540 attempts with 28 passing TDs while averaging 270.9 yards per game. He also rushed for 291 yards and two scores.
He led all FBS freshman quarterbacks in passing yards.
Solomon shares the NCAA record for most completions by a freshman when he had 47 against Cal on Sept. 20, 2014, the game with the legendary “Hill Mary” game-winning pass to Austin Hill when time expired.
He holds the NCAA freshman record for most plays (89) from that game and for most plays (677) that entire season. He attempted a school-record 73 passes against the Golden Bears and had 16 rushes.
Solomon had seven individual records at Arizona that ranked in the AllSportsTucson.com’s list of top 100 records achieved in the program.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne commented on Solomon’s transfer Tuesday afteroon during an interview with Kevin Woodman and Brad Allis of KCUB (1290-AM):
Byrne on @SportsRadio1290 on Solomon transferring: "Sad to see it happen. Had a lot of highlights here …We wish him nothing but the best."
Byrne on Solomon: "I've watched him grow and mature. Great to see him graduating. We want to see him do great things down the road."
This is Solomon’s entire statement on Instagram today:
“I first want to take this opportunity to thank Arizona Football for making me the man I am today, especially Coach Rodriquez & the Rodriguez family, Greg Byrne, the entire administration and staff, and of course the die-hard fans for absolutely everything to make my past 4 years at The University of Arizona worthwhile and unforgettable. God has a plan for me. I’ve prayed for direction, patience, and knowledge to know when it comes, and it is with a heavy heart to announce that I am transferring from The University of Arizona. Through much adversity, I will never forget those who supported me, stuck by me, and believed in me; God, my family, my girlfriend, and close friends. From highs and lows, and the unlucky injuries I suffered from the past 2 seasons, I am blessed to have a fresh start at another program to finish out my senior year. Thank you Tucson, & GOD BLESS! At this time I will be focusing on spending the holiday season with my family and ask for privacy as we decide on the next step in my college career.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.