The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

86° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Who will be Arizona’s next quarterback come next fall?

Zi Yang Lai and Tyler Baker
Arizona quarterbacks Brandon Dawkins (13, left) and Anu Solomon (12, right) are two of the four quarterbacks on the UA roster in 2016. Solomon is expected by many to get most of the reps during spring ball.

As spring ball approaches for Arizona football, the Daily Wildcat takes a look at the quarterback position for the Wildcats and who can potentially grab the starting job. The Wildcats will have just three scholarship quarterbacks with the return of two and the loss of one.

Anu Solomon

Every Arizona football fan knows when to love him and when to hate him. But one thing is clear: Solomon has succeeded on the offensive side of the ball when it counts. Injuries have derailed the quarterback out of Bishop Gormon over the past two seasons, many of which have come due to concussion.

Over the past two seasons, Solomon has thrown for 6,460 yards and 48 touchdowns. Is it Heisman Trophy potential? No. Yet at the same time, Solomon has continued to improve in his two seasons in the starting role.

All one has to do is look at the Arizona quarterback position. In two seasons, former Wildcat B.J. Denker threw for just 2,775 yards and 19 touchdowns.

But over time, Solomon has begun to improve his running abilities and somehow finds ways to make big plays when they count.

Although Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez told Arizona Daily Star reporter Michael Lev that Solomon is viewed as starter, Brandon Dawkins is expected to get plenty of reps.

Khalil Tate

The four-star, dual-threat quarterback out of Gardena, California officially arrived on the Arizona campus just a few days ago as a mid-year enrollee. Unlike Devon Modster, another four-star recruit in his class who decommitted from the Wildcats just a few weeks ago, Tate has embraced his experience at Arizona and seems ready to take on the challenge of leading Arizona’s system.

In his high school senior season, Tate compiled 2,036 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. With his feet, he added 2,130 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. According to, Tate is considered the No. 16 overall athlete.

“Tate is talented enough to compete with Anu Solomon and Brandon Dawkins for the starting job as a true freshman,” wrote Arizona Daily Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt. “Even if he doesn’t win that, Tate has the athleticism and running ability for a Jerrard Randall-esque role.”

Tate and the Wildcats would hardly disagree. Rodriguez always talks about spring ball positions being pretty wide-open so Tate most certainly has a shot.

Brandon Dawkins

Dawkins surprised many in his impressive performance against ASU after riding the third string quarterback role for most of the 2015 season. But when Solomon was out with a concussion and Randall was simply not cutting it, Rodriguez put in Dawkins.

In the game, Dawkins completed 16 of 30 passing attempts for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Although Dawkins was picked off a couple times against the Sun Devils, he proved to Arizona fans that he could handle the heat of the rivalry.

In terms of toughness, Dawkins definitely deserves the award. Against the Sun Devils, he would throw up on the sidelines due to illness and then throw a touchdown. That’s determination.

Zach Werlinger

The highlight of Werlinger’s career was surely his rushing touchdown against NAU during the third game of the season. Besides that, Werlinger rarely saw the field and served as the fourth string backup. Werlinger is not a player on scholarship according, to 247 Sports.

With all of that in mind, Rodriguez surely has a lot of options with which to lead his offense next season. With so many questions still needing to be answered on the defensive side of the ball, Rodriguez can take a breath of relief when it comes to the quarterback position for now.

More to Discover
Activate Search