Utah football: Utes' QB race 'getting interesting'
The only thing separating Jordan Wynn from the other Utah quarterbacks right now is experience, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Monday.
So is the pressure on the veteran to keep his job? You bet it is, at least judging from Whittingham's emphasis on the quarterbacks' performances in Tuesday's scrimmage.
While all three quarterbacks have about the same completion percentage in camp, freshman Travis Wilson has made the biggest gains lately and is putting the kind of pressure on Wynn the coaches thought he would after his solid spring.
Asked which position battles he'd be keeping an eye on in Tuesday's scrimmage and Whittingham mentioned the quarterbacks, along with the offensive line and linebacker positions.
"It's getting interesting, too," he said of the quarterbacks. "It's getting competitive."
Wynn, a player entering his fourth year even though he is considered a junior due to the number of games he has missed with injuries, has the edge right now because of experience.
"His command of the offense, flipping the protections, giving us the right looks, getting us out of bad looks, and he is throwing the ball well," Whittingham said.
Wilson, a 6-foot-6 freshman out of San Clemente, Calif., has impressed the coaches with his running ability in addition to the way he has picked up the offense.
"Like I said earlier, the guy who gives us the best chance to win is the guy who is going to be on the field," Whittingham said.
Last week Wilson said Wynn has been crucial in helping him learn the nuances of Utah's offense.
Asked about helping a guy who is trying to take his job, Wynn said it wasn't an issue for him.
"I have enough confidence in myself and my abilities," he said.
The Utes made several changes to their depth chart with Percy Taumoelau listed as the starting right tackle and Jeremiah Poutasi listed as the starting left tackle.
The offensive line continues to be the biggest concern for the Utes, particularly with returner Miles Mason and backup center Vyncent Jones out with injuries.
Starting right guard Sam Brenner left Monday's session early with a slight injury but should be cleared to play either later Monday or Tuesday, Whittingham said.
Walk-on receiver Geoff Norwood and junior Sean Fitzgerald have replaced veterans Reggie Dunn and Anthony Denham on the receivers' depth chart. Junior college transfer Tenny Palepoi is listed as the backup to Dave Kruger at defensive tackle in place of Junior Salt, who is out for the season with a broken foot.
The Utes will unveil a black helmet with a red circle and feather logo for the annual blackout game on Oct. 27 against Cal. The team will wear the black helmet periodically throughout the season.
Offensive lineman Sam Brenner (right shoulder) and linebacker LT Filiaga (left knee) are out of practice a week to three weeks with injuries. Brenner could be back next week, Whittingham said. Offensive lineman Miles Mason didn't practice with the team but was out of his protective boot Monday afternoon.