UA FOOTBALL

Arizona football: New Cats arrive, led by WR Neal, QB Solomon

2013-06-04T00:00:00Z Arizona football: New Cats arrive, led by WR Neal, QB SolomonDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Less than three months before the season opener, the Arizona Wildcats will get their first look at the future of the football program.

Members of the 2013 recruiting class - including Notre Dame receiver transfer Davonte' Neal and quarterback Anu Solomon - began reporting to Tucson this week for summer school and workouts.

Newcomers who have already graduated high school will go through orientation today after meeting with academic advisors on Monday. They'll take physicals Wednesday and begin workouts with the strength and conditioning staff Thursday morning.

The headliner of the class is Neal. The former Scottsdale Chaparral star has reported to Tucson for the summer and will continue to wait to hear if he can play this season.

Neal left Notre Dame after the fall semester to be closer to his newborn daughter and girlfriend. He committed to the Wildcats in March and applied for a hardship waiver to play right away. While the odds don't appear to be in his favor, there's an outside chance he could play this fall.

But whether or not he can play immediately, one of coach Rich Rodriguez's first priorities since he took over the Wildcats was to get Neal on the UA's campus.

"He's getting acclimated and enjoying it so far," said Neal's father, Luke. "He's been down there for a couple of weeks and has been coming back to Phoenix every weekend to see his baby. We're still in the waiting process to see what happens. I haven't heard anything (about his status)."

One player the Wildcats know they can play this season is Solomon.

The four-star QB prospect from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas graduated on Sunday and made his way to Tucson on Monday morning. Solomon will compete with B.J. Denker and former USC QB Jesse Scroggins, a junior college transfer, for the starting role this summer and fall.

Wildcats coaches have been anticipating Solomon's arrival in Tucson for more than a year. Solomon committed to the UA in May of 2012.

The next wave of freshmen, which is expected to include San Diego high school running back Pierre Cormier and Poway, Calif., cornerback Derek Babiash, is set to arrive on June 23.

Solomon, Cormier and Babiash are ranked as four-star recruits by the Scout.com recruiting service.

Arizona opens Aug. 30 against NAU at Arizona Stadium at 7 p.m.

Extra points

• Beginning this fall, the Pac-12 will reduce the amount of physical contact allowed during practices to help reduce concussions.

League commissioner Larry Scott announced the decision Monday morning. The conference will release a formal policy next month at Pac-12 Media Day that will outline the limitations and address the exact rules.

The policy is expected to have a bigger effect during training camp and spring practice. Coaches usually limit contact on their own during in-season practices.

"Pac-12 institutions house the leading medical trainers, doctors and scientists working to enhance student-athlete healthy and well being," Scott said in a statement. "Our athletic departments and coaches have been very progressive in this area and are deeply committed to advancing these efforts."

• Scott also said Monday that the Pac-12 doesn't appear to be any closer to reaching an agreement with DirecTV to carry the Pac-12 Network.

"I don't have any reason to be optimistic about it," Scott said on a conference call with reporters.

DirecTV has declined a deal that other outlets have agreed to, Scott said.

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 South football standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 7 2 0 0.778 10 3 0 0.769
USC 6 3 0 0.667 8 4 0 0.667
UCLA 6 3 0 0.667 9 3 0 0.750
Arizona State 6 3 0 0.667 9 3 0 0.750
Utah 5 4 0 0.556 8 4 0 0.667
Colorado 0 9 0 0.000 2 10 0 0.167

Pac-12 North football standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Oregon 8 1 0 0.889 12 1 0 0.923
Stanford 5 4 0 0.556 7 5 0 0.583
Washington 4 5 0 0.444 8 5 0 0.615
Cal 3 6 0 0.333 5 7 0 0.417
Washington State 2 7 0 0.222 3 9 0 0.250
Oregon State 2 7 0 0.222 5 7 0 0.417
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