Arizona quarterback race wide open, Rodriguez says. Truly.

Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez, shown on the sideline in 2013, has several options at quarterback.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez is promising honesty and full disclosure. His first order of business, upon taking the podium at Pac-12 media day on Wednesday, was to tell everyone he’s truly not happy to be here.

“I could be like every other coach in America and say I’m glad to be here, but I’d be lying,” Rodriguez said. “Truth is, I’d rather be still on vacation meeting with the coaches.”

Perhaps he’d rather be evaluating his quarterbacks. In a conference well stocked with veteran quarterbacks — 10 of 12 teams return a starting passer — Arizona’s position battle is wide open. Five likely candidates were fighting for the starting job in spring, and little appears to have changed.

Rodriguez could tell you that the situation has cleared up, that front-runners have emerged. But then he’d be lying. And he didn’t want to lie on Wednesday.


“Truth is, I don’t know,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez did say that he sees enough talent at the position.

Arizona receiver Austin Hill said he favors three quarterbacks. But, he added, the range of options has made it more difficult to develop chemistry between passer and pass-catcher.

“At times, yeah, it can be rough,” Hill said.


Rodriguez recognizes that the Pac-12 has more quarterback talent than perhaps any conference in the nation. All 10 returning starters are quality quarterbacks, Rodriguez said. Or as he put it, none of them could “play dead in a Western.”

And if you’re not sure what that means, at least you know Rodriguez is being honest.

Twitter: @zhelfand