LAS VEGAS -- To most of the country, Las Vegas is known as Sin City. For Bishop Gorman and quarterback Anu Solomon, it might as well be called Win City.
Since taking over as the Gaels quarterback before his freshman year in 2009, Solomon has led Bishop Gorman to three-consecutive state titles and a 43-3 record, beating some high school football royalty along the way in Anaheim (Calif.) Servite.
The Gaels will be at it again next year, as their first four games will be against Honolulu St. Louis, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel, Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic, and a rematch against Servite.
Solomon quickly sidesteps the idea that he should be singled out for the recent success of the Bishop Gorman program, but it is tough to overlook the fact that he has already shattered the Nevada large-school classification passing records for yards and touchdowns. He will begin his senior season already 1,185 yards and 24 touchdowns clear of former Las Vegas Canyon Springs quarterback and Utah wide receiver DeVonte Christopher's marks. As a junior, Solomon posted a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 41-to-2 and threw at least one touchdown pass in all but one game.
His passing prowess was on display this weekend, as he participated in the Dallas Elite 11 as well as the New Level Athletics 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas. Solomon finished among the top 15 quarterbacks in a loaded Elite 11, but said he was very unhappy with his performance. He said he knew as soon as he got back home, he would have to make the short trip to UNLV in order to redeem his weekend.
Solomon started out hot, leading his Las Vegas team to a win in their opening game Sunday. And while they didn't win the title -- an unexpected event for a Solomon-led team -- he proved once again that he is one of the top quarterbacks in the West. But to his quarterback coach and family friend Joe Charles Jr., who coached former University of Hawaii star Timmy Chang in high school, it was nothing out of the ordinary.
"He throws a pretty ball, a catchable ball," Charles said of Solomon. "There's nobody better than Andrew Luck in throwing a catchable ball, but that's what Anu is able to do."
Solomon said he currently holds six offers -- Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, Utah and UNLV. His first came from Buffaloes coach Jon Embree during a visit he took his sophomore year. Arizona's revamped coaching staff has also reaffirmed the offer to Solomon.
At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Solomon said the knock on him has constantly been his lack of height, and he often is categorized as a dual-threat quarterback. But he is working to disprove that stereotype.
"I try to make big plays in the passing game," said Solomon, who completed five passes of more than 50 yards last season. "I always like to pass first."
Charles said there's good reason to keep Solomon in the pocket as often as possible. He compared Solomon's passing instincts to that of a running back capable of spotting the hole in the defensive line before it opens.
"Anu is able to see the puka (Charles' Hawaiian word for window) before it opens up," Charles said. "That's the instinct and anticipation. That's what separates him from his competition. Coaches love that and coaches at the next level are going to like him, because of those things he's able to bring to the position."
It wouldn't be surprising to see Solomon compete at the Northern California Elite 11 later this spring and push himself against some of the nation's best yet again. With the out of conference schedule his high school coaches have set up for him these past two years, Solomon doesn't know any other way.