Nevada’s quarterback competition just got a lot murkier for the upcoming season opener.
Fifth-year senior Cristian Solano broke his right throwing hand during training camp. The injury will require surgery during the season.
“Senior quarterback Cristian Solano hit his right hand on a helmet during practice this week and is expected to miss the rest of training camp and part of the regular season due to the injury,” Nevada head coach Jay Norvell said in a press release. “He is expected to undergo surgery in the coming days and we’re hopeful of his return around the start of conference play.”
Solano was in the midst of a three-man race between redshirt freshman Carson Strong and junior Malik Henry for the starting job under center. But as the race heads into its final lap, it appears that Henry and Strong will battle for the starting spot before Nevada’s season opener against Purdue on Aug. 30.
Strong is looking for his first full taste of action on the field. He earned the Wolf Pack’s offensive scout team award last season. Strong appeared in one game against Portland State, where he had one rush for four yards before redshirting.
Before coming to Nevada, Strong used his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame on the court and the gridiron. He played basketball and football at Wood High School in Vacaville, Calif.
The redshirt freshman has the chance to take advantage to propel himself to potentially start the season at the realm of the offense. He put on a show with pinpoint accuracy downfield during the Wolf Pack’s Silver and Blue spring game on April 27.
Henry is looking for a second chance. The former four-star recruit originally committed to Florida State University — and played a lead role in the Netflix series “Last Chance U” — before transferring to Independence Community College.
The former high school standout has the tools and the opportunity to step in and contribute toward the Wolf Pack offense. Henry showcased some scrambling ability and mobility outside the pocket during the silver and blue game.
Solano’s injury has paved the way for Strong and Henry to step in and compete for the highly touted job during the beginning of the season. Time will tell what direction Nevada chooses to go under center.