Transfers are an inevitability following a coaching staff shake-up, and Arizona is no exception. Elements of the existing UA offensive scheme suit what new head coach Rich Rodriguez seeks to employ, specifically quarterback Matt Scott's dual abilities. For the other quarterbacks on UA's 2011 depth chart, however, the inevitable came to pass.
Daxx Garman will be on the sidelines of Arizona Stadium...on Sept. 8, when his new program, Oklahoma State comes to Tucson. Tom Savage became the football version of Luke Recker, a transfer who transferred before ever putting on the red-and-blue. Savage insists his transfer was not the result of Rodriguez's offense, but regardless of reason, he won't be a part of the Wildcat roster in 2012.
In the short term, there's no one to back-up Scott. As well suited as Scott is to Rodriguez and vice versa, there has to be an immediate contingency plan in case of injury. For the long haul, there is no heir apparent. The coming weeks will be crucial to the program's next few seasons.
Rodriguez dealt with mass quarterback exodus before, losing Ryan Mallett and Steven Threet upon his arrival at Michigan. The upheaval forced Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier into immediately contributing roles during Rodriguez's second season. Ironically, Forcier was rumored to like UA while searching for a new home last winter but he ultimately settled on San Jose State.
Modesto, Calif. prospect Nathan Sudfeld verbally committed to UA last June, and has not wavered. Sudfeld spoke with Rivals.com reporter Adam Gorney last week after paying a visit with Rodriguez.
In the article, viewable behind a paywall here, Sudfeld said, "I definitely took a step forward with my interest to Arizona. I love the school and Tucson is beautiful."
Sudfeld has spoken with other programs, including Arkansas, but the apparent mutual commitment between the new UA staff and Sudfeld sparks any interesting question: will Rodriguez and offensive coordinator Calvin McGee evolve the spread to fit a Pro Style quarterback's skill set, and how much deviation would there be in formations when using use a player, as opposed to a Pat White type?
Making such alterations in Year One of a new offense seems like a stretch though, and being forced into playing a true freshman quarterback is rarely a proposition a head coach wants.
Cody Sokol could be the answer. He has collegiate experience at the JUCO level, and is a local recruit. He played last season at Scottsdale CC, and prepped at Phoenix-area powerhouse Desert Vista. In addition to the far more pressing need of signing a quarterback, landing Sokol would pave the first in-roads to winning in-state recruiting battles, something Rodriguez made an overture to with this week's hire of former Chaparral head coach Charlie Ragle. GoAZCats.com writer Matt Moreno reports Sokol could make his decision very soon.
Should Sokol land elsewhere, it's back to what appears to be a blank drawing board. Incoming transfers are a possibility, but UA would need an already-graduated senior a la Russell Wilson at Wisconsin or newly christened Kansas Jayhawk Dayne Crist.
Is Jeremiah Masoli still available?