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Arizona true freshman Grant Gunnell made his first start last week in a victory over UCLA and had the second-most prolific debut ever for the Wildcats, passing for 352 yards.

Gunnell might get a second start Saturday when Arizona (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) plays at Colorado. Starting quarterback Khalil Tate, who ran for an FBS quarterback record 327 yards in Boulder two years ago, might be out for a second week due to hamstring and ankle injuries. Tate's status likely will remain a public mystery until right before kickoff.

Gunnell completed 29 of 44 passes in a 20-17 win over UCLA, throwing one touchdown with no interceptions. His yardage total trails only Anu Solomon for an Arizona starting debut; Solomon tossed for 425 yards in the 2014 season opener as a redshirt freshman in a 58-13 beat-down of UNLV.

Gunnell was the 19th quarterback to start at Arizona this century.

"The No. 1 thing was poise," Sumlin said of Gunnell.

It's much the same story around the country. By my count -- and I might be missing someone from a smaller-conference school -- Gunnell is one of 13 true freshmen to start this season, including four who play for teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 -- Bo Nix (Auburn), Dillon Gabriel (UCF), Hank Bachmeier (Boise State) and Jayden Daniels (Arizona State).

And, of course, there's the recent true freshman success of guys like Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama, Jake Fromm at Georgia and Trevor Lawrence at Clemson.

So when Sumlin talks about Gunnell's poise, that's partly a result of the current quarterback culture, where the modern college rookies are products of year-round training, personal coaches, summer camps and a proliferation of 7-on-7 competitions, which has made them increasingly plug-and-play prospects with no limits on the playbook, no ceiling on greatness.

"He's got talent. He's a winner," Sumlin said of Gunnell. "He's going to be just fine. How he operated, and the mechanics of communication during the game, I thought he did a very good job during the game. ...

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"A lot of times you get guys in there, they're missing signals or (getting) delay of game, and the clock is running down and they're panicking. I thought, game-operation wise, he did a good job as a true freshman."

It almost makes you say, "Who needs a senior quarterback?"

Except Arizona has one of those, too.

Tate, who still doesn't turn 21 until later this month, has provided Arizona with some of its most remarkable QB play ever -- mostly in October 2017, starting when he entered a few minutes into the game at Colorado for an injured Brandon Dawkins.

But, like others before him, who burst onto the scene with hope and hype -- including Willie Tuitama and Solomon in the past 20 seasons -- the rest of the career has been rather flat.

Whether his full opportunity comes this season or next, Gunnell is the Next Big Thing. We'll see how he does.

Here are the 19 quarterbacks who have started at quarterback since 2000, starting with a senior-year Ortege Jenkins, with how the team fared in all those games. (And, yes, it is sad that the Cats are 110-127 since 2000.)

Note that wide receiver Anthony Johnson technically took the first snap in an 2006 game against Oregon State, although Kris Heavner, who had returned to the team as a walk-on after starting 14 games in 2003-04 before transferring, played the rest of the way because Tuitama and Adam Austin were injured.

(Years indicate when they had starts)

QBStartsYearsWL

Willie Tuitama

38

2005-08

19

19

Nick Foles

32

2009-11

14

18

Anu Solomon

27

2014-16

17

10

Jason Johnson

23

2001-02

9

14

Khalil Tate

23

2016-19

11

12

Matt Scott

17

2009-10; 2012

11

6

Kris Heavner

14

2003-04

2

12

B.J. Denker

14

2012-13

9

5

Brandon Dawkins

14

2016-17

6

8

Richard Kovalcheck

12

2004-05

3

9

Ortege Jenkins

11

2000

5

6

Nic Costa

3

2003

1

2

Adam Austin

2

2006

1

1

Jerrard Randall

2

2015

0

2

Ryan O'Hara

1

2003

0

1

Anthony Johnson

1

2006

0

1

Bryson Beirne

1

2011

1

0

Rhett Rodriguez

1

2018

0

1

Grant Gunnell

1

2019

1

0

TOTAL

237

110

127