As it turns out, an injury-riddled season for Anu Solomon will turn out to be his last in the desert.
On Instagram Tuesday, the Arizona quarterback confirmed that he has decided to transfer out of the Wildcats football program. Solomon is expected to graduate from UA before he officially leaves the university, meaning he would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS program in 2017.
That would be his last season of eligibility.
I first want to take this opportunity to thank Arizona Football for making me the man I am today, especially Coach Rodriquez & the Rodriguez family, Greg Byrne, the entire administration and staff, and of course the die-hard fans for absolutely everything to make my past 4 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 the unlucky injuries I suffered from the past 2 seasons, I am blessed to have a fresh start at another program to finish out my senior year. Thank you Tucson, & GOD BLESS! At this time I will be focusing on spending the holiday season with my family and ask for privacy as we decide on the next step in my college career.
UNLV has already been mentioned as a potential landing spot, with Solomon’s high school coach, Rob O’Dell, serving as the Rebels’ quarterbacks coach. Speculation is that Hawaii and possibly Cal could also be in play for the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School product.
Solomon entered the 2016 season having started 25 of the previous 27 games. He made it 26-of-28 in the opener before an injury in practice leading into Week 2 knocked him out for the next six games. He returned from the knee issue and served as a backup to Brandon Dawkins for three consecutive games before starting the Nov. 19 loss to Oregon State. A foot injury in that game, however, kept him out of the Territorial Cup win over rival Arizona State the following week and effectively ended his UA career.
Arguably the highlight of the Wildcat portion of his playing career was winning the 2014 Pac-12 South championship. Solomon also leaves as the fourth-most prolific passer in school history.
“We were sad to hear that Anu had decided to transfer,” athletic director Greg Byrne said during a radio interview by way of Tucson News Now. “We also understand that does happen. He’s had a lot of great moments here in our program; obviously, the highlight was winning the Pac-12 South and playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
“We wish him nothing but the best. We want great things to happen for him on the football field and off the football field as well.”
When UNLV kicks off spring practice in a couple of months, they’ll do so without the quarterback who started 50 percent of the team’s wins in 2016.
As all of the cool football players are doing these days, Dalton Sneed announced on Twitter that he has decided to transfer from the Rebels. “Decisions in life aren’t easy, and this has been by far the toughest of my life,” the quarterback wrote, adding, “I have to do what’s best for me.”
What’s arguably best for Sneed is finding a situation where he likely wouldn’t be buried behind a trio of players heading into the spring.
A redshirt freshman, Sneed will have to sit out the 2017 season if his next destination is another FBS program. However, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Sneed is likely headed to a junior college.
Regardless, he’d then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.
The third-string quarterback to begin the season, injuries led to Sneed starting five games in the middle of the season, with the Rebels winning two of those contests. A poor performance in a loss to San Jose State prompted Sneed’s benching in favor of Kurt Palendach, who along with Johnny Stanton (starter the first four games before being injured) and Armani Rogers “appear to be ahead of [Sneed] on the depth chart,” the Sun noted.
While he completed well under 50 percent of his pass attempts (39-88), Sneed did finish fourth on the team in rushing yards with 348.
After nearly a month on the job, Jeff Tedford has made his first official hires at Fresno State.
Tuesday, Fresno announced that Tedford has added four assistant coaches to his first Bulldogs staff — Jamie Christian (running backs/special teams coordinator), Kirby Moore (wide receivers), Scott Thompson (tight ends) and J.D. Williams (defensive backs). Those four represent nearly one-half of what will be a nine-man coaching staff.
Just two of the four have been position coaches at the FBS level before — Christian and Williams.
The former spent the 2016 season as the running backs coach at UNLV, his second season with the Rebels. Christian has also spent time at FBS programs like Houston (2012-14, special teams coordinator/tight ends/inside receivers), Arizona State (2007-11, special teams coordinator/inside receivers) and Idaho (2006, special teams coordinator/running backs).
The latter was also an assistant at UNLV the past two seasons, serving as the corners coach as well. That was his second stint at UNLV, the first coming 2010-13. He’s also been a defensive backs coach at Utah (2009), Washington (2006-08) and Cal (2002-05).
Moore was an offensive grad assistant at Washington last year, his second year in the profession. Thomas was an offensive assistant at USC in 2016. Prior to that, he held football staff positions at USC (2010-15) and Tennessee (2009).
Christian, Thompson and Williams are all former Bulldogs football players. Williams also served as an assistant at his alma mater (2000-01).
A win Friday night kept Boise State in position to claim the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bid, but it wasn’t all positive in the postgame for the Broncos.
Following the 42-25 win over UNLV on the Smurf Turf, Bryan Harsin confirmed that pair of linebackers, Tanner Vallejo (pictured) and Joe Martarano, will miss at least the regular-season finale against Air Force next Friday afternoon. One of the injuries was sustained during the game, while the other has been lingering.
Late in the first quarter, Martarano went down with what was described as a serious leg injury. While Harsin has ruled Martarano for the Week 13 game against the Falcons, the junior hasn’t been ruled out a bowl game quite yet, especially, if it’s later on in the postseason.
Earlier in the season, a knee injury had cost Martarano a pair of games. He started the season opener against Louisiana.
Vallejo, meanwhile, has been playing with a broken wrist for well over a month. However, the player and the football program decided earlier in the week that the senior would undergo surgery to repair the damage, which he did.
The medical procedure means Vallejo will be sidelined for the remainder of the season, including a bowl game.
“It was just time,” Harsin said according to the Idaho Press-Tribune. “He played with it, but you couldn’t do much with it. It was one of those decisions where it’s time for him. I think he did everything he could possibly do this season under those conditions.”
Vallejo is currently second on the team in tackles with 69, and had started the first nine games of the season prior to Friday night.
UNLV needs to win its last two games to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2013. As the Rebels embark on that postseason task, they’ll be forced to do so without their most productive threat in the passing game.
Monday, head coach Tony Sanchez announced that Devonte Boyd has a broken left forearm. As a result, the wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2016 season.
Boyd suffered the injury in the triple-overtime win over Wyoming this past Saturday.
Through the first 10 games of the season, Boyd had caught 45 passes for 746 yards and four touchdowns. Those totals were easily tops on the team.
How easily? The next four players have combined for 44 receptions for 620 yards and six touchdowns.