Rich Rodriguez announced at his weekly Monday press conference that Anu Solomon will start at quarterback for the Arizona Wildcats Friday night in the season-opener against UNLV.
Solomon, who is a redshirt freshman, dressed for one game last year. That game: UNLV. He is from Las Vegas, which probably makes this a little extra-special for the QB.
Solomon will become the first freshman quarterback to start a game at Arizona since Willie Tuitama in 2005, when he started the final four games of that season. He will be the first freshman to start a season-opener for the Wildcats in the Pac-10/12 era.
Coach Rodriguez said that the decision became official during the QB position meeting Sunday night.
"I talked to our quarterbacks last night and told them who was going to be the starter," Rodriguez said with a wry smile. "So I'm guessing you guys are interested in that."
"Anu Solomon will be the starter Friday night, and as I told the quarterbacks last night, it doesn't mean he plays the whole game or that he'll be the starter the rest of the season. But I also don't want any quarterback to go in there and think that as soon as I make a mistake I'm coming out. That's not going to be the case either."
"I thought he deserved the right to start the first game. I don't know who the next guy is, but I told all four to be ready to play, because all four could play."
"He's playing the best of the four quarterbacks," Rodriguez continued. "He has a good feel for the game, and he did things better on a more consistent basis."
The official Arizona depth chart that was released Monday morning has all four listed on it, and all as OR, which means that they can all play. Coach did say later on in the press conference that there are certain plays each quarterback executes better than the rest, and that they all may see gametime because of that.
Solomon has a winning pedigree, having won four Nevada state championships at Bishop Gorman HS.
"He was probably mature beyond his years then," Rodriguez said of Solomon's mentality. "He just loves football, and I think he sees the opportunity out in front of him. I'm glad I couldn't rattle him."
"One thing that stood out (while recruiting him) was that he was a winner. A great high school program, and he was a guy who had great leadership. He had the intangibles that you would want."
He also has the reputation as being a laid back comedian off the field, but a high-energy guy on the field.
"I think he brings a lot of energy to the huddle," center Steven Gurrola said. "I think that's what stands out. He was really good at taking charge of the o-line, giving us the plays. He's funny."
This move also seems to be what most Arizona fans wanted to see. In a poll at the end of this article about what Solomon had been working on, almost 70% of the voters said that they wanted to see the freshman in there.
Well here he is. Now what happens?