In the last several seasons, one of the common criticisms about the Utah football team's offense has been its lack of quarterback talent. To address this issue, the Utes' coaching staff have recruited far and wide for talent, and they landed a very good one in Donovan Isom (pronounced Ice-um).
The true freshman from Destrehan, La. stands 6-3, and weighs a respectable 233 pounds. With a little more conditioning, he'll have a solid, Pac-12-ready body. According to Hudl, Isom runs a 4.75 40-yard dash, but he seems a lot quicker and more fluid in live action with the Utes. Isom has good footwork and plenty of arm strength for the position and could make an excellent dual-threat quarterback, which, of course, is perfect for the kind of spread-option attack offensive coordinator Dave Christensen wants to run at Utah. He has a quick release and puts some serious zip on the ball, important for some of the swing and slant routes featured in the offense so far. But, make no mistake, Isom has the arm for deep outs and go routes.
Isom's high school film* shows a player who has several different throws in his arsenal. He throws darts on quick routes. He throws deep balls with touch, and he can also float a post route just over the hands of the defense. Isom is also comfortable selling the play-action passes that may be featured this season with Utah's stable of capable running backs. Isom has also displayed very quick feet when rolling out of the pocket and escapability when the pocket breaks down. When tucking the ball, Isom can make linemen and linebackers miss, and if he gets into the secondary, he's a load for even a couple of defensive backs to bring down. (He does need to develop a stiff arm and some attitude on his runs to get the tough yards in the Pac-12.) But Isom isn't a run-first quarterback, using his athletic ability to keep a play alive and keeping his eyes down field.
One his best qualities is his humility. Isom says he's just trying to "absorb it like a sponge" and get better day by day.
* All film courtesy of Hudl.