Although Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion walked away the winner of the Elite 11 coaches challenge, Travis Wilson might have helped the Utes win the biggest prize of the weekend. Over the course of the camp, Wilson was able to catch up with and serve as a counselor for the next Elite 11 finalist to come out of San Clemente High School, Sam Darnold.
Darnold is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound, four-star prospect and the fifth ranked pocket passer according to ESPN.com, 89th ranked player over all. According to Brandon Huffman, the national college football and recruiting analyst for Scout and FOX Sports, "He's probably a better athlete than Travis was at this point, in terms of being a football athlete. Sam is more of a threat when he runs. Travis was a little more polished, but he also had his whole junior year to build on."
He already has several D-I offers including Duke, Oregon, Tennessee, and USC. However, Utah might have a recruiting advantage given the recent commitment of four star dual-threat QB Travis Waller to the Ducks. USC and Tennessee also have commitments from four-star QB recruits, with Trojan prospect Ricky Town as the sixth ranked pocket passer by ESPN.com and the Volunteers having secured the commitment of thirteenth ranked Quinten Dormady.
Darnold would be a huge get for the Utes, helping to ease the sting of recently losing out on Osa Masina. Hopefully catching up with Travis this weekend helped steer the young man towards a future commitment to the Utes.