Arizona Wildcats freshman quarterback Anu Solomon doesn’t want to redshirt. That wasn’t part of his plan.
But as coach Rich Rodriguez prepares to whittle his still-open quarterback competition, Solomon might not make it to game-week preparation as a viable option.
Rodriguez said he wants to limit practice reps to three or four quarterbacks by Wednesday.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be one of those three or four yet or not,” Rodriguez said of Solomon.
Solomon is one of six eligible quarterbacks, a group that includes fellow true freshman Khari McGee. The top four could very well be senior B.J. Denker, junior Jesse Scroggins, sophomore Nick Isham and redshirt freshman Javelle Allen.
Solomon, a four-star recruit from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School, might be close enough to be in the mix but time is running out. A redshirt season makes sense if the Wildcats have backup options just as good.
“Coming into this college thing, redshirting wasn’t an option,” Solomon said Sunday at Arizona media day.
“I want to be the starter. But, you know, it is what it is. If I redshirt, I’ll be upset because that means I didn’t work hard enough in the offseason to gain that starting spot.”
By later in the week, the top two quarterbacks will get the bulk of the practice work as the Wildcats turn their focus to their season-opener against visiting NAU on Friday, Aug. 30.
“There haven’t been two that have separated themselves yet,” Rodriguez said.
* * *
Rodriguez isn’t ready to name starters in his kicking game as he has to replace placekicker John Bonano and punter Kyle Dugandzic.
Sophomore punter Drew Riggleman, a Sahuaro High alum, has “done the best so far,” Rodriguez said.
At kicker, Rodriguez said senior Jake Smith has had a good camp, and so has Casey Skowron, although he struggled at the scrimmage Saturday night, missing wide right from 45 and 32 yards before making a 39-yarder.
“Jake and Casey have been close,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been going back and forth a little bit.”
* * *
Senior Terrence Miller should be an X-factor on offense, able to be a big target as an outside receiver, work the middle as a tight end or be in the backfield as an H-back, as he was at times Saturday night.
“It’s a little bit trying at times because I have to know a multitude of positions,” he said.
“I like the pressure, though, and I think Coach Rod likes putting that pressure on me. I appreciate the trust he has in me to move me around at random. It’s a challenge. I like being challenged. I don’t like things easy.”
Miller (6-4, 234) is probably better suited for an inside position, but the coaches are simply searching for the best guys to get on the field in the wake of injuries and defections at receiver. He figures his future, though, is at H-back.
“I’m trying to go to the next level,” he said. “In the NFL, I think that’s where I’ll probably be at.”
For more photos from camp, check out this gallery of some of the team’s young defenders from Brad Allis at WildcatSportsReport.com.