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Arizona football depth chart: The Quarterback Battle rages on

A lot of questions surround the quarterbacks heading into the season. But who will ultimately replace Matt Scott

B.J. Denker leads a host of quarterbacks looking to win the starting job
B.J. Denker leads a host of quarterbacks looking to win the starting job

The much publicized quarterback battle will continue right up until kickoff of the NAU game on the 30th.  A couple of guys have game experience, including B.J. Denker when he played against Colorado when Matt Scott was out with his concussion.

They all bring in their own unique skillset, which makes the decision even tougher for Rich Rodriguez and the entire coaching staff.

Key Losses

Matt Scott (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Key Returners

B.J. Denker, Nick Isham

Key Newcomers

Jesse Scroggins (Transfer - El Camino College), Anu Solomon (Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV), Javelle Allen (redshirted 2012), Khari McGee (Edison HS, Fresno, CA)

Personally, especially after watching the scrimmage at Arizona Stadium, I think B.J. Denker will be your starting QB against NAU barring enormous improvement from Scroggins or Isham, or some kind of setback for Denker over the next two weeks.

How about a look at what each guy brings to the table, both from their perspective and from QB coach Rod Smith

B.J. Denker

Coach Smith: "He's got the most experience here for what we're doing.  He's probably the most intelligent guy as far as our offense.  He's got a good grasp.  He's been a bit inconsistent for our standards."

Denker: "I felt comfortable (at the scrimmage).  The offense moved the ball, we scored a couple touchdowns.  Just happy I didn't turn the ball over or throw it into coverage.  I'd say I did pretty well."

Not throwing it into coverage is what Denker says he's been working on the most during camp, "Living to fight another day."

On what he needs to work on the most before the NAU game: "Having the coaches understand that they can trust me and have confidence in me, and that they can win with me.  That they're not worried about me turning the ball over and they feel like I can run this offense efficiently and that I can be a smart quarterback.  That's the biggest thing."

He's also tried to put on some weight during camp.  "It's been a struggle trying to stuff yourself every single day.  Trying to get stronger in the weight room, put on some more weight."

"Making sure I'm as strong and as fast as possible to play a whole season."

Jesse Scroggins

Coach Smith: "He's a guy who's missed some time (foot in spring, concussion in fall).  He's also an older guy who had some time at USC and also had some time at junior college.  So he's an older guy who's been there and seen some live action so that's a plus.  Once again, he has to understand what we're doing and be more consistent.

Scroggins:  "The offense is really progressing, things are starting to work for us.  That's one thing about this offense, is that we need to get faster and faster."

What he's been working on: "My drops. There's so many different types of drops for different types of plays.  You gotta know the exact drop.  If you don't do the right drop, it's not going to time up well.  Everything's about timing."

Biggest strength:  "The will to win.  Whatever it takes.  That's the biggest thing for me, getting back to competing, playing football period."

What he needs to show before the season starts: "Progression.  And protecting the football.  Definitely not turning the ball over and throwing the ball away.  Mastering the offense."

About his concussion, Scroggins wanted to play, but definitely realizes the long-term impacts brain injuries have on players.  "Very frustrating, I was mad at the doctors, but that's their job.  I can't be mad at that.  There's so many concussion stories now, so many guys back in the day that played with concussions and now they're so messed up in the head, and I don't want that to be me.  I want to play with my kids whenever that comes, be able to walk around, be able to think straight for myself, be able to live life.  That's the biggest thing for me, just being healthy."

Javelle Allen

Coach Smith: "This is his third semester here so he has a pretty good idea of what we're doing.  Pretty athletic kid, can run, use his legs well, he's gotten better.  I've been pleased with his progress so far."

Nick Isham

Coach Smith:  "He's a kid that's got some experience, some game experience (at Louisiana Tech), he's got a pretty good feel.  But he hasn't been with us all that long, gotta continue to learn."

Isham:  On his performance at the scrimmage:  "It went well.  Made some good decisions."

Isham looks to apply what he learned as a quarterback at Louisiana Tech to Arizona, especially the game experience he's already had.

"Being in front of big crowds, going into overtime games, all those kinds of things."  He also said that experience is one of the biggest strengths he has over the other guys.

"I feel like the whole cerebral aspect that they have on the quarterbacks in terms of making the right decisions, calling the right plays, being accurate.  I feel like that's something that I've been able to do well in the past and will continue to do well."

"I've always been in systems like this.  It was nice coming here and being able to have something similar that I'm used to."

What he has to work on the most:  "Just continuing to work on putting the ball at the right place at the right time.  I just take it day by day, watching film, studying, continuing to be better."

Anu Solomon

Coach Smith: "I'm very high on him, but at the same time he has a lot of work to do because the game is pretty fast for him right now.  Once he continues to understand more and more of what we're doing (it'll slow down for him)."

Solomon: "Everything's much faster, everyone's bigger and stronger.  I have to be accountable, everyone expects a lot out of me, I just gotta be that guy, I have to be that guy who leads the team to accomplishing every goal we have."

His biggest adjustment from high school to college:  "Mentally, being mentally strong, doing all the mental work.  Watching film, doing all that.  And basically just executing every play."

Biggest strength:  "Athletic ability.  Being able to make plays."

What he needs to work on before the season:  "Leadership, my mistakes, gotta quit making those rookie mistakes.  Watch film, workout a bit more, have to get bigger and stronger."

"I just gotta gain (the coaches) trust that they can play a true freshman.  I gotta be that leader, that guy that's accountable.  Being that guy leading the team to possibly the Rose Bowl, a great game like that."

Khari McGee

Coach Smith: "He's a very athletic kid who needs to continue to catch up mentally as well.  He's in the same boat as Anu."

Final thoughts:

It's obvious that leadership is one of the biggest qualities that the coaches are looking for from their starting quarterback.  But who steps up over the next couple of weeks?  In reality though, the offense will most likely be run-heavy, so whoever is that quarterback needs to be the one who doesn't give the ball to the other team.