Anu Solomon’s time at Arizona started with a bang before eventually sizzling. Solomon experienced plenty of highs in his redshirt freshman season, a season that culminated in a Pac-12 Championship game and Fiesta Bowl appearance for the Wildcats. A journey that many thought would end after 4 years of Solomon as Arizona’s starting quarterback came to an end yesterday when Solomon released a statement intimating his intentions to transfer from the school. A career that never quite got up to full speed has now come to a stop without ever reaching its purported destination.
Solomon came to Arizona as a 4 star recruit out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He chose Arizona over offers from UCLA and ASU, among other schools. After redshirting in 2013, he began his playing career for the Wildcats with one of the best performances of his career, throwing for 425 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions in his first game (against UNLV). He would finish his freshman year with almost 3800 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, and 281 rushing yards. The only knocks against Solomon’s first year at the helm of the Arizona offense was his penchant for taking sacks and his 58% completion percentage. Hopes were high for the young quarterback and the direction he was leading the program.
Expectations were much higher for both Solomon and the Arizona team in his sophomore campaign. In a season where injuries decimated the Wildcats defense (namely Scooby Wright III), Solomon never quite showed the improvement many had expected and hoped to see from him. He would miss 2 games due to injuries and finish the season with about 2600 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. His rushing totals went down from his freshman season, both in attempts and yards. His completion percentage rose, but only incrementally, up to 62%. The team would go to and win the New Mexico Bowl, a far cry from its early season aspirations.
This past season was basically a wash for Anu. He started in the first game of the season, a loss against BYU. He struggled in the game, throwing for 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He would miss the next 6 games with a knee injury. In his place, a carousel of quarterbacks saw time, including a true freshman and even a reserve tight end. When Solomon finally returned from injury, he struggled and never looked especially comfortable within the offense.
Rumors abound that Solomon may look to transfer for his final season of eligibility, both to give himself and the team a fresh start. No one can say that Anu Solomon’s time at Arizona was a failure. He lead the team to a New Year’s 6 Bowl, something the school hadn’t experienced since its 1993 season. He avoided throwing interceptions but also took far too many sacks (as aforementioned), seemingly in the most inopportune moments of games. With Arizona having young quarterbacks who better fit the typical Rich Rod style QB (mobility) waiting in the fold, the time seems right for both parties to part ways. Regardless of how it ended, Wildcats fans would do well to remember Solomon’s time at Arizona fondly, particularly the special 2014 season.