Anu Solomon is leaving Arizona. The Wildcats quarterback is an intriguing transfer option for a team in need—if he is healthy.
There is another intriguing free agent quarterback on the market in the world of college football.
Arizona’s Anu Solomon announced via Instagram on Tuesday that he intends to transfer from the school. If he graduates early, he would be eligible to play a final season as a grad transfer at his new home in 2017.
In a statement released on the photo/video-sharing site, Solomon thanked a plethora of supporters.
“I first want to take this opportunity to thank Arizona football for making me the man I am today, especially Coach Rodriguez and the Rodriguez family, Greg Byrne, the entire administration and staff, and of course the die-hard fans for absolutely everything to make my past four years at the University of Arizona worthwhile and unforgettable. God has a plan for me. I’ve prayed for direction, patience, and knowledge to know when it comes, and it is with a heavy heart to announce that I am transferring from the university of Arizona.
“At this time I will be focusing on spending the holiday season with my family and ask for privacy as we decide on the next step in my college career.”
With the move, Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate are left as the lone scholarship quarterbacks on Rich Rodriguez’s Wildcats roster, with 2017 recruits Braxton Burmeister and Rhett Rodriguez set to join the fray. Burmeister is expected to enroll in January.
The three-year starter Solomon had a huge year in 2014, throwing for 3,793 yards and 28 touchdowns against nine interceptions, but he was sacked a whopping 38 times. He helped lead his team to a first-ever Pac-12 South division championship, losing to Oregon in the conference title game, as well as a first-ever trip to the Fiesta Bowl in a New Year’s Six loss to Boise State. Last season, he missed two games but managed to complete 62.1 percent of his throws with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
But after being involved in a tight battle with the sophomore Dawkins that started in the spring, Solomon struggled against BYU in the season opener, though he didn’t get much help from the offensive line against the Cougars’ pressure. He suffered a knee injury in practice the next week, leading to Dawkins taking over the job. He barely played again the rest of the year, finishing with a touchdown and two interceptions after attempting just 63 passes.
It’s a tough end to the redshirt junior’s Arizona career, as injuries were a big factor in his play tailing off following that strong debut season. Concussions sidelined him against UCLA and Utah in 2015, and he ended up missing the ensuing games against Stanford and Arizona State. In preseason camp this year, he discussed being sidelined by those injuries.
“I thought I could’ve pushed through those two concussions,” he explained. “People say I can’t be playing with my mind like that, but I’ve been getting concussions since I was in the third grade. But it’s just a whole new world.”
One certainly can’t question Solomon’s desire to play the game he loves. However, at this point, the serious nature of his injuries must be taken into consideration as he plots his next move.
As for what program could be a fit, the Hawaii native could be headed back to the island to play for Nick Rolovich’s Rainbow Warriors. UNLV could also be an option. He graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas in 2013, as he passed for 5,234 yards and 49 touchdowns, rushing for another 1,263 yards and 19 more scores in leading the four-time champion Gaels to an overall record of 43-3 during his four-year run. If he is healthy, though, he should find plenty of interest from other bigger programs as well because he could potentially once again be a high-impact guy for a team needing a spread QB—if healthy.
Solomon was ranked by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit and the second best dual-threat quarterback in the 2012 class.