The past two seasons, the Baylor Bears have found themselves in a last man standing situation at quarterback, with injuries piling up at the most important position on the football field. In 2015, it was Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham both having season ending injuries, leaving Chris Johnson as the lone quarterback left. Even Johnson would leave the Texas game early, with backup Wide receiver and one-time high school quarterback Lynx Hawthorne left to manage the Bears offense.
The 2016 season saw more of the same, with Seth Russell once against having a season ending injury. With Stidham and Johnson both transferring before the season, it was left to true freshman Zach Smith to manage the Bears offense. Luckily for Baylor, Smith was able to stay healthy for the rest of the year.
For the 2017 season, additions to the depth chart had to be made. With the signing of 3-star recruit Charlie Brewer, and Anu Solomon joining the Bears as a graduate transfer from Arizona, the Bears will have three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster when spring practice starts in March.
Solomon and Smith are expected to battle for the starting spot in 2017 this spring, though a decision might wait till the fall. With a new offense in town, both will be starting from scratch. Solomon is a senior with 30 games of experience under his belt, including 28 starts. He has thrown for almost 7,000 yards in his career and has accounted for 54 total touchdowns while putting together a 17-13 career record.
More of a dual threat, Solomon has 437 yards rushing over his career in addition to 5 touchdowns on the ground. A 4-star recruit in the 2013 class, Solomon signed with Arizona as the 35th best QB in the class. He chose Arizona over offers from Arizona State, Colorado, UNLV and Utah.
His main competition for the starting spot will be returning starter Zach Smith, who passed for 1,526 yards, 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 10 games for the Bears in 2016. He started the final four games for the Bears, after replacing Seth Russell against Oklahoma. While losing his first three games, Smith saved his best for last in the Cactus Bowl victory over Boise State, throwing for 375 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception.
While Smith and Solomon battle for the top spot, the Bears have an early enrollee joining the team in 3-star Lake Travis quarterback Charlie Brewer. A long-time commit of SMU, new Baylor coach Matt Rhule offered Brewer in December and he committed shortly after. An extremely accurate quarterback, Brewer completed 77% of his passes his senior year. Over an outstanding four-year career, Brewer accounted for 8,813 total yards and 136 total touchdowns.
2017 Quarterback Roster
The goal for the 2017 Bears will probably be to redshirt Brewer, with the loser of the Solomon/Smith battle being the primary backup. Smith will then be in the drivers seat for the 2018 spot along with Brewer and possibly 1-2 more recruits or additions to that roster. For 2017 though, these are the three. The only hope for Baylor fans is that the 2-year trend of massive destruction to the QB depth chart does not continue.