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UPDATED: Arizona Wildcats lose two quarterbacks to transfers

Tom Savage won nine games as a true freshman starter at Rutgers in 2009. Photo by Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Arizona Wildcats freshman quarterback Daxx Garman will transfer, new coach Rich Rodriguez told TucsonCitizen.com on Monday.

And then later in the afternoon, quarterback Tom Savage, from Springfield, Pa., told Rodriguez he was transferring back to a school on the East Coast because of a family issue.

Rodriguez talked positively about Savage to TucsonCitizen.com and other media outlets today as he went through a press junket with local media. After that, Savage informed Rodriguez of his decision.

In a press release, Savage said: “This is a personal decision about my family and was not influenced by Coach Rodriguez or his style of play.”

Rodriguez said: “Tom has indicated to us that he wants to transfer closer to home for family reasons. He said it has nothing to do with football, schemes, or the University of Arizona. We certainly wish him and his family the best in the future.”

Garman redshirted this season behind Nick Foles, Bryson Beirne and senior Matt Scott, who also redshirted. Garman, who was ruled ineligible for his senior year at Southlake (Texas) Carroll High School after transferring from a school in Oklahoma, arrived at Arizona this spring.

Rodriguez said he wasn’t sure to which school Garman would transfer.

While Scott’s athleticism and background in the zone-read offense make him a good fit for Rodriguez’s system, the coach had said that Savage — whose background is as a pocket passer — could run his offense, too.

Savage, sat out this season after his transfer from Rutgers and has two years of eligibility left, had indicated to Rodriguez he would stay, prior to the family issue. Savage was a Freshman All-American in 2009 with the Scarlet Knights, passing for 2,211 yards before being injured and losing his starting job as a sophomore.

“I remember watching him (at Rutgers),” Rodriguez said, adding that it was “going to be a good competition between him and Matt.”

Early in the day Rodriguez was pleased at the quarterback experience he had inherited.

“This is a good base for me to come into. There’s certainly a lot more experience than when I went to Michigan,” he said. “I had no quarterbacks. I started with a quarterback who was a walk-on. I didn’t have a quarterback who had taken a snap.

Now, he has one at Arizona. Scott is the only scholarship quarterback on the roster.

Arizona has two committed quarterbacks in its recruiting class — Josh Kern from San Antonio and Nate Sudfeld from Modesto, Calif.

Rodriguez will honor their scholarship offers from the previous coaching staff, if those quarterbacks decide they still want to come to Arizona to play in a different offense.

A possible option for Arizona includes receiver Richard Morrison, who arrived at Arizona as a dual-threat quarterback. Freshman receiver David Richards also played some quarterback in high school.

Rodriguez said no other players have indicated they will transfer.

“Sometimes you worry about that in a transition,” Rodriguez said.

“I told the guys they have to give us a shot, give us a chance to show you the process. The sooner they embrace it, the sooner they will have success.”

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