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Arizona adds Louisiana Tech transfer quarterback (and other QB transactions)

Nick Isham throws against Southern Miss last year as he started the first game of his true freshman season. Photo by Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE

The Arizona football team has added former Louisiana Tech starting quarterback Nick Isham, according to an updated version of the Wildcats’ on-line roster.

Isham’s decision to walk-on was first reported by the Louisiana Tech site on Rivals.com last month, but his name appeared on the roster only in the past few days. He also is listed in the UA’s student directory.

Isham, who left the Bulldogs in April, started the first seven games of last season as a true freshman (he turned 18 on Oct. 7). He lost the starting job to Colby Cameron, who, as a senior this spring, had a solid hold on the job when Isham decided to transfer.

He appeared in 10 games, including making some appearances at receiver late in the season for head coach Sonny Dykes, the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2009. Isham (5-10, 185) completed 155 of 257 passes for 1,457 yards, with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Isham, from Westlake High School in Westlake Village, Calif., will have to sit out a year as a transfer. He would have three years of eligibility remaining, starting in 2013.

Arizona’s roster includes another new name at quarterback — Jack Nykaza, a freshman from Wilmette, Ill.

Nykaza (6-1, 190) completed 96 of 188 passes for 1,213 yards, with six touchdowns and seven interceptions, for New Trier High School last season. He also rushed 119 times for 709 yards and nine touchdowns. He played at receiver as a junior.

Sophomore walk-on Tyler D’Amore, who went through spring ball with Arizona, is no longer with the team. The Ironwood Ridge High graduate will play at Pima Community College this spring, according to TucsonCitizen.com’s Andy Morales.

Junior Richard Morrison — who caught 41 passes in the past two seasons — is listed as a quarterback, not as a wide receiver, after working at both positions this spring. The athleticism of the former high school quarterback helps provide insurance in coach Rich Rodriguez’s read-option offense behind senior starter Matt Scott.

Scott, who redshirted last season, has five career starts, and his ceiling in this offense is high enough to project him to be among the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12 after USC’s Matt Barkley and Washington’s Keith Price.

But no Arizona player other than Scott has played quarterback at the major college level.

Here is a look at the quarterback depth for 2012, with five on scholarship:

* Matt Scott, Sr.
* Richard Morrison, Jr.
* B.J. Denker, Jr. (transfer from Cerritos College in Calif.; arrives in fall)
* Alex Cappellini, So. (walk-on from junior college)
* Javelle Allen, Fr. (signed in February)
* Josh Kern, Fr. (signed in February)
* Jack Nykaza, Fr.

In 2013, Isham becomes eligible. Arizona also has a commitment for its 2013 class from Anu Solomon from Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman High. He is rated as a four-star recruit, and No. 132 nationally, by Rivals.com.

Rodriguez is expected to add another quarterback to his 2013 recruiting class.

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