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.
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.
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
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
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
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