Arizona names Solomon its QB

Redshirt freshman Anu Solomon named the Wildcats starter but it doesn't mean he'll play all game.

Redshirt freshman Anu Solomon on Monday was named Arizona's starting quarterback for Friday's season opener against UNLV.

Arizona Athletics

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Rich Rodriguez has his man at quarterback -- at least for now. It's redshirt freshman Anu Solomon.

"It's my first college game ... I just have to fight the butterflies," Solomon said after Monday night's practice. "I gotta do what I gotta do."

He's done what was necessary to this point.

"He's earned the right to start the first game," Rodriguez said Monday afternoon, ahead of the Wildcats' opener Friday against UNLV.

UNLV is one of the five schools Solomon looked at before choosing Arizona. He is from Las Vegas.

Solomon said he felt normal Sunday night when he received word he'd be the starter and was "just as clueless" on who would start before then. In fact, he thought Rodriguez wouldn't name the starter until later in the week or just before the game.

"It (did not) sink in yet," he said. "I still got to get better. I still have three guys wanting the job. I just have to keep working."

Rodriguez made it a point to say the decision doesn't mean Solomon will be the starter all year or that he'll will be the only quarterback to play against the Rebels.

"He's got a good feel for the game. I just think it's his personal makeup. ... I'm glad he doesn't get rattled. Maybe I could leave him alone but we do put pressure on all of those guys."

Rich Rodriguez, on Anu Solomon

Rodriguez added a backup has not been designated yet is and asked the other quarterbacks -- Jesse Scroggins, Jerrard Randall and Connor Brewer -- to be ready to play.

"At the same time I'm confident Anu will play well," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said all the quarterbacks improved during fall camp but he was looking for the most consistent player.

And not that the others didn't do well, it was "just that he did things better," Rodriguez said of Solomon.

Solomon -- whom Rodriguez called a winner in that he was a four-time state champion in high school in Nevada and he showed great leadership -- was not made available to the media Monday afternoon.

"He's got a good feel for the game," Rodriguez said when asked about Solomon's intangibles.

"I just think it's his personal makeup," Rodriguez added. "... I'm glad he doesn't get rattled. Maybe I could leave him alone but we do put pressure on all of those guys."

Solomon said during media eight days ago, Rodriguez had told him in the spring he needed to be more assertive and make fewer mistakes. Rodriguez had continued that theme in explaining the quarterback job all camp.

Solomon appeared the frontrunner in recent weeks, seemingly taking the most reps in Arizona's public practices. Solomon two weeks ago said he has the ability of "flipping the switch. You just have to know when it's time to get serious and when it's time to fool around. But sometimes I catch myself being laid back."

When asked how he was dealing with the yelling, Solomon said, "I take the message but I don't take the yelling. The yelling goes in one ear and goes (out the other). I get the message ... I got to get better. I say, 'I gotta get better.'"

Center Steve Gurrola said Solomon is good because "he brings an energy to the huddle" and "takes control on the O-line."

Junior Jared Tevis said Solomon is "a kid with a lot of capability. He can hurt you with his arm and his legs. Most importantly he's pretty consistent. The best attribute he carries is composure."

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