It’s always nice to have options.
In the case of Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez, options may not be a strong enough word to describe his collection of quarterbacks in Tucson vying to replace B.J. Denker behind center this fall when the Wildcats open their season against UNLV on August 30. Rich Rod has seven on their spring roster and could have as many as nine by the time fall camp starts.
“We had to increase our budget for footballs because we [have] seven quarterbacks,” Rodriguez joked when asked about his high volume at Bruce Arians charity golf tournament Saturday in Scottsdale. “They’re taking a lot of reps. Their heads are spinning because we believe in starting it fast…it’s been good.”
The list of incumbents includes former Chaparral star Connor Brewer who sat out last season after transferring from the University of Texas, redshirt junior transfer Jarrard Randall and 2013 four-star recruit Anu Solomon from power Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. One Valley product who will report this fall is preferred walk-on Zack Werlinger from Basha High in Chandler.
Rodriguez said he will “pare it down a little bit” when spring practice ends April 12 with their scrimmage in Tucson and doesn’t expect quite the high volume by the end of the summer.
“I don’t think we’ll have nine in camp, but chances are we’ll have seven,” he said. “It will sort itself out.”
One of the quarterbacks already in camp, Khari McGee, is also listed as a wide receiver on Arizona’s on-line roster.
Despite the uncertainty as quarterback, Rodriguez is pleased with the direction of the program entering his third season.
“We know we’re making progress. It’s going to be a fun team to watch.”