The Utes have named a new starting quarterback with true sophomore Tyler Huntley, a very talented youngster out of Florida. Huntley passed last year’s starter Troy Williams by having a nice spring, and by the sounds of it, a great fall camp. This is a very interesting move for many reasons, but something that Utah fans should be excited about, because Huntley is a dynamic player on the field. It creates an interesting situation, but a good one for the team, because Troy Williams is one heck of a back up, and one we could see play at some point.
With Huntley taking over the No. 1 spot, there are still a lot of questions, especially since the media can’t see a lot, but we know a bit about him. First, he’s dynamic with his feet and extending plays. Coach Whittingham and Taylor both said that was a big advantage for him. He’s also really good when he throws on the run. Many fans should remember some of the throws he made in the spring game on the run, many of which to his teammate in high school, Demari Simpkins. He has a lively arm, and arguably throws the best deep ball on the team. Huntley may be the best, true duel threat QB we’ve seen in quite a long time.
There are still some questions that I want to see in game action. First, has Huntley’s happy feet in the pocket been fixed. Watching Huntley in the spring, and prior, Huntley would break the pocket really quickly and didn’t have a great pocket presence. He’d bust the pocket the moment pressure would start to show up. That would be the first thing I hope we see in the game next week against North Dakota. Second, Huntley’s delivery had quite a wind up to it, and it delayed the throw. Reports are that he has fixed that quite a bit, which would go a long way. Lastly, how’s his decision making. Huntley, prior to this fall, would want the home run ball on each play, which would lead to some mistakes. Coaches are stating he made some big steps there, and that his decision making has improved dramatically. That’s the ultimate thing we need to see in game action.
The nice thing is with Troy Taylor, Utah’s new OC and QB coach, he is the one that picked Huntley to be the starter. Taylor has been known to be a QB developer, and if Huntley was able to beat out a proven, productive, winning QB, he must have developed Huntley at a much more rapid pace than anybody could have anticipated.
What does make this very exciting (but a bit scary), is that this offense is very young, and one that can grow together. The team going into game one will have a sophomore QB, two sophomore running backs, only two seniors on the line, and really only one senior as a primary wide out with Darren Carrington. This is an offense that can grow together, which bodes well for the future.