Rich Rodriguez hoped to open a pipeline to Scottsdale Chaparral High School when he lured the school’s title-winning head coach, Charlie Ragle, to join his rebuilding effort after the 2011 season.
And now that pipeline is gushing.
Quarterback Connor Brewer, who left Texas this summer after one season, announced Monday night he would be transferring to Arizona, where he will join former high school teammate Davonte’ Neal, a Notre Dame transfer receiver.
Brewer directed Chaparral to three consecutive state titles, completing 441 of 686 passes for 7,574 yards and a state-record 100 touchdowns. Chaparral was 41-2 in those three seasons. He threw for 43 touchdowns, with only five interceptions, as a senior.
“When people ask me what is the first thing I think about with Connor Brewer, the kid is a winner,” Ragle said in a 2010 story in the Arizona Republic.
Ragle after serving one year an assistant operations director was promoted after last season to tight ends coach, also taking a lead role in coaching special teams.
Over the weekend, Arizona received a commitment from Chaparral tight end Trevor Wood, who picked the Cats over offers from Oregon, UCLA and Alabama. The Wildcats have five players from Chaparral on their roster: Neal, sophomore linebacker Cody Ippolito and a trio of walk-ons.
Brewer (6-2, 195) isn’t necessarily what you would consider a Rodriguez-style quarterback as he is more of a pro-style thrower, but he has good athleticism … and Rodriguez proved last season he could balance the run and the pass in his read-option offense with Matt Scott at the helm.
Plus, Rodriguez always says he likes to collect quarterbacks, and Brewer — who will have to sit out this season under NCAA transfer rules — will join the 2014 projected mix that would include, among others, Jesse Scroggins, Anu Solomon, Javelle Allen and dual-threat freshman Brandon Dawkins, who committed last week.
Brewer’s commitment gives Arizona four of the top 10 in-state players from the 2012 class, as ranked by Rivals.com.
If Neal and Brewer — who have been friends since the eighth grade — had signed with Arizona in February of 2012, excitement would have been off the charts. Neal was No. 3 in the state, Brewer No. 5, offensive lineman Zach Hemmila was No. 6 and defensive lineman Dwight Melvin was No. 10.
Brewer was rated as the fifth-best pro-style quarterback in the 2012 class by 247Sports. He will have three years of eligibility remaining, starting in 2014.
Arizona might not be done with Texas transfers.
Wide receiver Cayleb Jones, who had legal trouble this offseason and was released from his UT scholarship last week, has announced he’s looking at Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado, UCLA, East Carolina, Clemson and Auburn. Jones, a former five-star prospect from Austin (Texas) High, played in 11 games last season as a true freshman, catching two passes.
I have committed to the University of Arizona! So excited to play for Coach Rodriguez! More great things to come for this program soon
— Connor Brewer (@ConnorBrewer7) July 30, 2013