Arizona football

Arizona Wildcats QB battle will continue into fall camp

2014-04-16T00:00:00Z Arizona Wildcats QB battle will continue into fall campBy Zack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

There was a fan competition at Saturday’s spring game — out-throw an Arizona quarterback, win $250.

One lucky fan threw it from the 30-yard line, about 35 yards.

Then Khari McGee, a redshirt freshman, stepped up to the 25, and threw it about 72 yards, just in front of the end zone.

Jerrard Randall one-upped him, threw it about 75 yards, just into the end zone.

Jesse Scroggins finished it off, throwing it just a few yards past Randall’s attempt.

Quarterback competition over. Ladies and gentleman, Jesse Scroggins your new starting quarterback.

Just kidding.

This competition — which the fan didn’t win, mind you — won’t have any bearing on the Wildcats’ ongoing quarterback “contest,” for the right to replace B.J. Denker.

Spring drills ended with Saturday’s game, and if coach Rich Rodriguez is any closer to picking his new starter for the season, which starts Aug. 29 against UNLV, he’s certainly not letting on.

“They all want to be” the starter, Rodriguez said, “and I don’t blame them. Everyone wants to know who the starter is, but I can tell you this — I don’t see myself naming a starter until a couple minutes before the first game, or a couple seconds.”

Saturday, Scroggins started the spring game with the “1s,” but Rodriguez said not to read into that all too much.

“The thing consistent about that is, we’ve been totally inconsistent,” he said. “We told them its gonna be like calling a guy out like a relief pitcher. They’re all warming up, then all of a sudden we’re bringing in somebody completely out of the blue. There’s really nothing to be put into that at all.”

So far, no one has emerged as “the guy,” but there has been some separation overall on the depth chart.

As Rodriguez said, separation from “1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5, 5 to 6, 6 to 7.” Unsurprisingly, he wouldn’t say who fell where on his depth chart.

“It’s a little hard to get used to every single quarterback because they all throw it in different areas, and spots, and at different times,” said receiver Austin Hill. “They were pretty good (Saturday). They’re making the right reads. They were maybe lofting the ball up too much like Coach Rod was getting mad at them for, but overall they did really well.”

There were seven quarterbacks active in the spring, with incoming freshman Brandon Dawkins joining the Wildcats in the fall.

Here’s a closer look at the quarterbacks most likely in contention for the starting job.

Jesse Scroggins

Measurable: 6 feet 3 inches, 208 pounds

Background: Senior; left USC after two years (one redshirted) for El Camino College; transferred to UA before last season; lost battle with B.J. Denker for starting job

Spring game highlights: Went 3 of 8 with 57 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception and had six carries for 37 yards; opened spring game with a 25-yard scramble; 44-yard touchdown pass to DaVonte Neal

He said it: “Jesse Scroggins is a great quarterback. He has a great arm, he has some speed to him as well. He has really good vision, and he’s a good quarterback to go out there and lead us. …

Jesse takes on that (leadership) role really well. When he steps on that field, we know it’s time to get to business, and he makes it very clear: “Hey we come out here, we have one job, and that’s to get the ball in the end zone.’ ” — Neal

Anu Solomon

Measurable: 6-2, 198

Background: Redshirt freshman; 4-star recruit from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas; redshirted 2013 season

Spring game highlights: 4 of 8, 74 yards, two touchdowns, four carries for 10 yards; on a play-action fake, found Abraham Mendivil wide open for a 24-yard touchdown; had an impressive lob to Johnny Jackson for a 19-yard touchdown

He said it: “He got redshirted last fall, and he had a redshirt mentality — ‘OK, I’ll start competing in the fall or the spring’ — and that’s not what you want our guys to do. But now he’s squarely in the mix, so hopefully that motivates him.” — Rodriguez

Jerrard Randall

Measurable: 6-1, 190

Background: Spent two years at LSU before transferring to Northeast Mississippi CC; committed to UA in December

Spring game highlights: 4 of 6, 31 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, three carries, 24 yards; ran for a 20-yard rushing “touchdown” when Rodriguez gave fans the chance to pick a play

He said it: “Jerrard has an arm, y’all saw it. It’s

crazy. But he just got

here, he’s behind the

(other) quarterbacks because he doesn’t know the system as well, but he’s a great quarterback, too.” — Jones

Connor Brewer

Measurable: 6-2, 196

Background: Redshirt sophomore; transferred to the UA from Texas before last season

Spring game highlights: 8 of 12, 71 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, two carries, 22 yards; on a play-action fake, found fellow Texas transfer Cayleb Jones for an 18-yard score

He said it: “It was fortunate that Connor threw me my first touchdown.” — Jones

Contact reporter Zack Rosenblatt at zrosenblatt@azstarnet.com or 573-4145. On Twitter @ZackBlatt

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


Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...