Sports Illustrated recently interviewed offensive coordinator Dave Christensen, and it's clear that the Utes have a long way to go before they resolve their logjam at quarterback.
SI: Quarterback Travis Wilson’s career appeared to be in jeopardy last year after a preexisting medical condition was discovered during a concussion diagnosis. Now he’s back at practice. What have you seen from him so far?
DC: He’s come out and competed well, and he’s actually improved a little bit each day. It’s just great to see him healthy enough to come out and practice. The competition’s been good at quarterback. We have a number of kids here right now, and then a freshman is coming in in the fall, as well as a transfer from Oklahoma, Kendal Thompson. For that position, the competition will pick up drastically.
Utah has more than several quarterbacks that are competing for the starting job, and already a few of them have had to take on new roles (Micah Thomas has moved to take snaps at wide receiver). While there is a prohibitive favorite, he is subject to health issues. If Travis Wilson is not able to go, a lot of things open up for everyone else, particularly Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson and the youngster Conner Manning.
Now, the Utes appear to have a process in place that will trim down the quarterbacks as time goes by.
The staff, he added, is doing the best it can to be as fair as possible. There’s a methodical approach.
"We have a detailed plan every day. It’s not haphazard," Roderick said. "We know exactly which plays which guys are going to be in and how many plays they’re getting. We’re meticulous about it. We’ll just let it play itself out and see who emerges and what pecking order."
It’s safe to say that if Travis Wilson is healthy enough to play, he will be your starter. Wilson is too talented to keep off the field, and if he learns to throw consistently will immediately become one of the toughest quarterbacks in the Pac-12 to defend.
At the moment, Wilson, Schulz and Manning lead the depth chart. Schulz has never proven that he has the ability to displace Wilson. If he remains a backup, he figures to stay there. Schulz has been the backup for awhile so that might just be by default. Once Manning puts everything in place, he figures to leapfrog Schulz. His passing talent is really genuine. Once it's fully actualized, watch out.
Thompson is probably the quarterback that most intrigues Ute fans. He’s very talented and could fit right in and provide the passing punch that has been lacking from Utah as of late. He comes from an offense in Oklahoma that excels at distributing the football and could be able to get it to multiple receivers. Donovan Isom is also coming, but I figure Isom will redshirt given how deep this rotation is.
Utah has plenty of problems, but if the quarterback position goes awry next season, the Utes sure will have accumulated a lot of depth with no real payoff.
What do you think of the Utah competition? Predict the quarterback fall depth chart!