Mike Stoops ushered in an era of navy helmets, and the UA often wore all-blue at home. 


Jarrett Kahanuolaokalani Solomon Jr. goes by Anu, a (much) shortened version of his middle name and a nod to his Hawaiian heritage.

Call him an Arizona Wildcat.

Solomon verbally committed to the UA on Sunday morning, giving first-year coach Rich Rodriguez a quarterback to build around starting in 2013.

Few players in the nation have been as productive as Solomon, a 6-foot-1-inch, 205-pound senior-to-be from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School.

In three seasons as a starter, Solomon has thrown for 7,579 yards - already a state of Nevada record - and 104 touchdowns. His 754 rushing yards and 11 ground scores speak to an electric runner.

The Scout.com recruiting service lists Solomon as a three-star recruit and the nation's 31st-best quarterback. He visited Tucson during Arizona's spring drills, and witnessed one of Rodriguez's manic practices in person. Solomon chose the UA over offers from Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, Utah and UNLV.

"Rich Rodriguez is a different guy. His competitiveness kind of shocked me, how he kept score with the offense and the defense. I liked it," Solomon said. "I just thought of it like this: Where am I going to succeed in the future, and where will I be comfortable at? Arizona stood out the most out of those categories."

Of Solomon's stats, none are more impressive - or important - than his 43-3 mark as a starter. The Gaels went 16-1 last season and, sparked by Solomon's five first-half touchdown passes, scored 72 points in the 4A state championship game.

The 17-year-old Solomon is the first premier quarterback to verbally commit to Rodriguez, an offensive guru whose spread-option system requires a quick, capable triggerman.

The Wildcats tried to lure Old Tappan (N.J.) star Devin Fuller

in January, but he chose UCLA instead. The UA missed on Scottsdale Chaparral do-everything back Davonte Neal

a month later.

Solomon said he's can't wait to move south. Born on Oahu, Solomon moved with his family to Las Vegas - "We call it the ninth island," he quipped - seven years ago. He's friends with former UA running back Keola Antolin, another Gorman product, and familiar with Arizona's long history with Hawaiian and Polynesian players.

But that wasn't the main reason he chose Arizona, he said.

"First off, Arizona's a great school," he said. "Rich Rodriguez is going to do great things in the future, and I want to be a part of that."