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Utah football: Competition continues for Utah QBs

Published August 18, 2012 12:21 am

Utah football • Though former starter Wynn is healthy, coach says the top job is still open.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Just as many hoped, one Utah quarterback ripped it up in Tuesday's scrimmage, separating himself from the others by completing all but one pass, throwing for more than 100 yards and three touchdowns.

Yep, Adam Schulz, a freshman from Muskego, Wis., had a great day in the session held at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

As for the quarterbacks everyone else is wondering about, veteran Jordan Wynn, Jon Hays and freshman Travis Wilson all had their moments too, just not enough to prompt coach Kyle Whittingham to proclaim he has a starting quarterback.

With two weeks remaining before the Utes open the season against Northern Colorado, Whittingham insists the quarterback position is open, despite the presence of Wynn, who has recovered from shoulder surgery well and enters his fourth year with the program.

It is assumed Wynn will be the starter when the dust settles, but the Utes also like how Wilson, an agile, 6-foot-6 freshman, is developing.

"We have to watch the tape," Whittingham said. "Jordan did throw the ball well and did take a sack in the two-minute drill, but we'll have a final analysis when we look at the tape."

Wynn was 6 for 9 for 85 yards, Wilson completed 4 of 9 passes for 30 yards and a touchdown, and Hays was 3 for 6 for 37 yards and a touchdown. And Schulz, a freshman who has made the most progress in the last year according to Whittingham, was 8 for 9 for 153 yards and three touchdowns.

While some might view talk of a possible quarterback battle between Wynn and Wilson as a distraction, Whittingham said he wasn't worried.

"The more depth you build the more competition is going on," he said. "I don't think it's healthy to have a guy at No. 1 when there is no way he can lose his job. That is a recipe for complacency. What we have done the last four years is start to fill in the depth at all positions, not at all of them, but we are further along than we have ever been."

While Whittingham's reluctance to commit to Wynn as a starter might be seen as just coach-speak to keep the veteran focused, Wilson at least believes he has a chance to oust Wynn.

"I'm definitely pushing for it now," he said. "I want to grind it out until they make a decision and be happy to come out and compete every day."

Wynn, who said his shoulder is stronger than ever, doesn't mind the competition.

"If they came out and said Travis and Jon have no chance or if they said Travis and Jon are the starters, I'd come out the same way and bust my butt and go as hard as I can," he said.

As for the rest of the undecided positions, including offensive tackle and the linebackers, Whittingham said progress was made.

"The offensive tackles are starting to play somewhat close where they need to be," he said. "When we first started, it was way off base and they've made progress, but we still need every bit of the next two weeks."

lwodaska@sltrib.com

Pac-12 Networks launch Wednesday

The Pac-12 Networks launch Wednesday and Comcast customers with Digital Starter Service who live in Utah will be able to watch Pac-12 games and other Pac-12 programming in standard definition on channel 37 (53 in the Heber area) and high definition on channel 757. The Pac-12 Networks will go live by the end of the day on Wednesday according to Comcast.

Utah fans living out of state or who do not subscribe to Comcast should visit the Channel Finder at http://bit.ly/LKUZ97 to learn how to get the Pac-12 Networks in their area.