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Arizona Wildcats football: The future at quarterback

Senior year highlights of QB Javelle Allen, who committed to Arizona earlier this week.


Less than a couple of months ago, the Arizona Wildcats had some of the best quarterback depth in their history.

They had senior Matt Scott for the 2012 season, Tom Savage for two more seasons, Daxx Garman as a redshirt freshman and two high school quarterbacks who committed over the summer.

That’s the kind of promising succession plan — talent at the top and time to develop youngsters — that has been rare at Arizona.

But new coach Rich Rodriguez has to quickly re-organize. Garman transferred to Oklahoma State. Savage, who originally transferred from Rutgers, returned to the East Coast, citing family reasons. One of the high school quarterbacks, Nate Sudfeld, de-committed.

As it stands, Rodriguez has two quarterbacks for spring practice — Scott and walk-on Tyler D’Amore, an Ironwood Ridge graduate who spent last season at junior college. He joined the team at the semester break.

Rodriguez says he likes to have five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. He has commitments from two high school seniors … and a really big fish on the hook.

Devin Fuller, a national top 50 recruit from Old Tappan, N.J., decided Thursday that he will use his final recruiting visit to come to Tucson next weekend. Sounds good from an Arizona perspective, able to take him to what will be an electric atmosphere at McKale Center for the “White Out” basketball game against Washington on Jan. 28. (UPDATE: Reports now indicate Fuller will visit mid-week.)

Fuller has visited Nebraska, TCU and UCLA, and is visiting Rutgers this weekend. Arizona edged out Notre Dame and Baylor for Fuller’s fifth visit.

With his athleticism, high school production and sterling national ranking, Fuller is the kind of dual-threat quarterback that make fans giddy over his potential in Rodriguez’s read-option offense. Fuller completed 127 of 195 passes for 2,247 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior, also rushing for 1,326 yards and 17 scores.

Fuller (6-0, 185) is rated the 34th-best prospect in the nation by 247sports.com and No. 37 by Rivals.com.

Arizona’s other committed quarterbacks are further under the radar, for whatever that’s worth. Rodriguez’s star quarterback at West Virginia, Pat White, was modestly rated — a three-star recruit pegged as the 55th-best “athlete” in the nation by Rivals.com.

Josh Kern from San Antonio remained committed to Arizona through the coaching change. At 6-5, he is considered more of a pro-style quarterback, but he also ran 148 times for 750 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He is considered a three-star recruit by 247sports.com

Arizona also received a commitment earlier this week from Javelle Allen of Prosper, Texas. The left-hander was something of a late bloomer on the recruiting scene, but Arizona had a connection because new quarterbacks coach Rod Smith had been recruiting him to Indiana.

247sports.com rates Allen as a two-star prospect.

“You are getting a steal,” Prosper High School coach Kent Scott told WildcatSportsReport.com. “You are getting a huge steal out of this recruiting class.”

Rodriguez was unable to convince junior college quarterback Cody Sokol to sign at mid-year, so he will be looking at all options in the spring for practice depth.

He said he would consider moving players who have background at the position, such as slot receiver Richard Morrison, who was recruited as a quarterback.

“We’ve thought about it a little bit,” Rodriguez said last week.

“What we’ll do when recruiting is over is to watch all our guys and then try to figure out what position we should start them at. There probably is a chance in the spring that (Morrison) may get a few reps.”

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