Zach Smith is about to meet a bunch of new friends. As the lone scholarship quarterback on the roster entering the spring, one of new coach Matt Rhule's primary objectives was to build depth at the most important position on the football field.
First, he flipped SMU quarterback commit Charlie Brewer away from SMU, giving the Bears a high school recruit that would be ready to practice this spring. That doubled the Bears quarterback spot, but still left a hole in terms of experience. With Smith being a true sophomore, and Brewer a true freshman, it made sense for Baylor to go after a transfer or junior college player to give them more depth.
The Bears found that in Anu Solomon, according to reports from 247sports. Solomon was a 3-year starter for the Wildcats, starting all 14-games as a freshman for the Pac-12 team. An All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention, Solomon passed for 3,793 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also added 291 yards on the ground for 2 more scores.
His sophomore year was limited to 11 games, missing two starts. He still passed for 2,655 yards and 20 touchdowns, improving his passer rating (13.7 to 147.1), yards per attempt (7.3 to 8.6) and completion percentage (58% to 62.3%).
After his strong two-year run, Solomon was named to the preseason Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award, and Walter Camp Player of the Year list.
His junior year was marred by injury, suffering a knee injury in practice after a season-opening loss to BYU that forced him in and out of the lineup. He was limited to only 5-games, throwing for just 465 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions.
As an early graduate, Solomon declared his intentions to transfer out of Arizona.
“I first want to take this opportunity to thank Arizona Football for making me the man I am today,” Solomon wrote, “especially Coach (Rich) Rodriguez and the Rodriguez family, Greg Byrne, the entire administration and staff, and of course the diehard fans for absolutely everything to make my past four years at the University of Arizona worthwhile and unforgettable. God has a plan for me. I’ve prayed for direction, patience and knowledge to know when it comes, and it is with a heavy heart to announce that I am transferring from the University of Arizona.
“Through much adversity, I will never forget those who supported me, stuck by me and believed in me: God, my family, my girlfriend and close friends. From highs and lows, and unlucky injuries I suffered from the past two seasons, I am blessed to have a fresh start at another program to finish out my senior year. Thank you Tucson and GOD BLESS!
Solomon was 10-4 as a starter in 2014, leading the Wildcats to their first Pac-12 South division title. He was 17-13 in 3-years as a starter for the Wildcats, totaling 6,913 passing yards, 49 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 437 rushing yards, and 5 rushing touchdowns over his 3-year career.