Kyle Whittingham reported today that Utah quarterback Brandon Cox will be transferring out of the Utah football program. Cox was in the competition for the starting quarterback position to begin fall camp, but had slipped to third in the competition in the past week. The announcement comes with less than two weeks before the season opener on September 1st.
The news that Cox is transferring is not surprising in itself, but the timing of the announcement, so close to the start of the season makes the announcement a bit of a shock. The emergence of Troy Williams and recent comments by Whittingham that Huntley had played himself into the backup position meant Cox could see the writing on the wall. A redshirt junior, Cox only has two years of eligibility remaining. With Williams seemingly the front runner over the next two seasons and with a freshman in Huntley appearing to be in line to take backup snaps, there was not much opportunity left for Cox in Salt Lake City.
Cox was a touted prospect coming out of high school as a dual threat quarterback and was originally committed to play for Rich Rodriguez at Arizona before switching his commitment to Utah. He was an intriguing prospect in large part due to athleticism, but he struggled with some injuries over the past couple years and was never able to put everything together. He never saw much playing time in his three years at Utah, playing in only one game in 2014. His final stat line with the Utes is 3-3 passing for 17 yards and 2 rush attempts for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Cox's departure will open up a scholarship, as Williams and Huntley are the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster currently. Drew Lisk and Logan Bateman are the other quarterbacks on the roster.
Cox's transfer makes sense as he would not receive any reps in practice as the third quarterback moving forward. As a junior with limited time left to play, a switch to a school with more opportunity is in his best interest. We wish Cox nothing but the best in his new situation. Once a Ute always a Ute!