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Spring football review: Quarterbacks

NCAA Football: UCLA at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

After spring football the Utah football team is in about as good of a spot as they’ve ever been in the QB room. They have a returning starter with Tyler Huntley, a couple of young and talented guys behind him, in Jack Tuttle and Jason Shelley, and it helps that there’s continuity in the coaching staff and offensive line. Let’s dive into this Utah QB depth chart now we are through spring.

Tyler Huntley
Huntley gave the Utes the most potent dual threat that the program has seen in years, like since Brian Johnson 10 years ago. His ability to pick up big yards with his feet, moving the chains, as well as hit guys down field (especially when he breaks the pocket) is an asset that Utah hasn’t had since joining the Pac-12. Troy Williams was close, but he was really streaky, and the field just wasn’t as open for him as it is with Huntley. Huntley had a nice spring, and really solidified himseft as the No. 1 guy. He did look a little bit bigger, but he continues to show that he has a better grasp on this Troy Taylor offense. He touched Utah’s defense at times this spring, and he just has a nice feel for the game. It wasn’t evident enough that he has improved in the RPO game, but his consistency in the pass game was evident.

Jack Tuttle
The highly touted QB from California flashed his potential at times through out spring. He made some of the most impressive throws of the spring, but he did show that he is still a freshman-to-be on this roster, with some of his decision making. He did show good pocket awareness at times, and was able to avoid pressure and make throws down field. It’s also of note that Tuttle has some decent wheels as well. He’s not just a statue back there, he can avoid pressure and pick up a first down if needed. He’s not yet a true competitor to Huntley for that No. 1 job, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes some leaps in the summer by the time fall camp comes around. Tuttle’s ceiling is insane, but he needs some time to season a little bit.

Jason Shelley
The sophomore QB played really well in the spring, and proved that he deserves in the conversation. He wasn’t just Tuttle’s second fiddle behind Huntley, he really pushed Tuttle and is in the running for the backup QB job. He throws a nice ball as well, and is also really slippery in the run game. In the last couple of scrimmages he may have even outplayed Tuttle, and he lead some really nice drives on offense. He’s still pretty slight, but he belongs on the field. Shelley will be another one to keep an eye on through summer and into fall. I know Tuttle will be in the film room, and working on his game improving each and every day, the question is can Shelley keep up?

Between those three, the Utes have a lot of skill behind center. There is a definitive No. 1 with Huntley, but it’s neck and neck with Tuttle and Shelley. The question at this point is if Huntley goes down, can either Tuttle or Shelley win a game or more for Utah? I’m not so sure at this point. Not because they’re not talented enough to do so, but how will they perform with the lights on in a big game, in the Pac-12? Huntley proved he is quite the gamer, and the other too are jut big questions marks in that area. I feel like Tuttle could adapt quickly, because he’s already proving to be a quick learner, and his ceiling is so high. Shelley appears to be a playmaker, and has an instict for the game, so he should scare some people too, but at this point it’s a pretty clear No. 1 followed by some high end potential. Regardless of what happens with the QBs this fall, they just need to make sure that No. 2, No. 6 and No. 7 (Moss, Shyne, and Henry-Cole) get the reps they need, because that will be the QBs best friend.