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The Quarterback Debate Rages On Going into Fall Camp for Utah Football

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When a team has a senior quarterback who has played in the previous three seasons, one would expect that the quarterback position would be solid. This is not the case in the minds of many followers of the Utah Utes.

Many assumed they had seen the last of Travis Wilson two seasons ago.  A brain scan he received following a concussion he suffered versus Arizona State revealed he had a condition that could be life threatening if he continued to play football. The coaching staff, teammates, and fans all had moved on. They doubted they would ever see Wilson take another snap. Subsequent tests revealed that the condition improved, and he was able to return to the field.

Only days before Wilson got that news, Utah was informed that Oklahoma quarterback Kendal Thompson had decided to transfer to Utah. It was assumed he would be the front runner for the starting position, if not, Brandon Cox, or Connor Manning would find their way at the top of the depth chart. Days later, Wilson received his news, and the position was once again up in the air.

Lack of consistency has really thrown a monkey wrench into any chance for consistency at quarterback. Wilson came into the program when Norm Chow and pro style was the offense du joir. Cox and Manning were recruited the following year as Brian Johnson moved to a more spread style offense. Then Dennis Erickson was brought in to co-coordinate with Johnson and Donovan Isom was recruited for that offense by Johnson. After that was the Dave Christensen experiment, which prompted a move by Johnson to reunite with his old QB coach Dan Mullen, and take the QB coach spot at Mississippi State.

Wilson, Thompson, Cox, Manning, Isom, and now Chase Hansen seem to have totally different skill sets, and that is most likely because Utah seemed to have no idea what offense they were running. Many suspect Wilson will start again in 2015, but some believe the few plays they saw from the athletic Kendal Thompson were enough to have them thinking he will be able to take the starting spot he had twice last season. You can also throw into Hansen into the mix, who recently returned from an LDS Mission. Coach Kyle Whittingham has stated that Hansen may see the field in certain situations as the play dictates.

Many are shocked that neither Cox or Manning transferred after spring ball, especially since Manning graduated in May. Hansen found his way to third on the depth chart, passing both the redshirt sophomores. Many assumed Isom would stick around, as he seemed to be a player that will have an opportunity to take over in 2016 with Wilson and Thompson's eligibility all used up after this season.

So where does this leave the quarterback position this season? Yet again, new coordinators running the offense, now Aaron Roderick and Jim Harding. They coached the quarterbacks and offensive line respectively last season, now take over the ever changing Utah offense. What offense will the Utes run? What quarterback best fits that offense? Wilson seems to by Roderick's guy, so will Travis have the ability to do his thing without looking over his shoulder? If so, is Thompson the odd man out? Will Hansen prove he is the best quarterback on the roster?

So many questions. Questions that one would think would not think a team should have with two senior quarterbacks. Hopefully they will be answered in August, and not continue unanswered on through the season.