Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah QBTravis Wilson (7) scrambles for yardage near the Stanford 20 during fourth quarter play. Utah upset #5 Stanford 27-21, Saturday, October 12, 2013.
Utah football: Travis Wilson eager to go live Thursday
Utah notes » Idaho State coach says road losing streak “not in danger” this week.
First Published Aug 26 2014 04:34 pm • Last Updated Aug 26 2014 10:19 pm

He hasn’t played a game since Nov. 9, and he’s only gone through one full-contact practice in that time.

Travis Wilson knows there are some skeptics out there who question if he’s truly ready to re-start his football career when the Utes open the season Thursday against Idaho State. For the junior quarterback, that switch has already flipped on.

At a glance

Idaho State at Utah

Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

TV » Pac-12 Network

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It’s really when I got to play in that scrimmage and I was live again, it was definitely good to just get in that mindset of ‘Yeah, I get to play football again,’ he said. "It’s not just two-hand touch with me anymore."

Wilson’s ready to return at the helm of the Utah offense, and his teammates and coaches agree the discovery of a condition that almost ended his football career has driven him to chase his football dreams more aggressively.

It was last fall when the Utes learned that he had pre-existing damage to an intracranial artery that ended his season and left him out of the game for months. Since then, there have been slow but steady signposts toward progress: clearance for non-contact drills, clearance for contact.

Throughout the ordeal, coach Kyle Whittingham said he saw Wilson’s increased hunger manifest itself in the weight room, where he built a chiseled physique. He voraciously studied Dave Christensen’s new offense and ultimately prevailed in a camp position battle with transfer Kendal Thompson.

"I think he’s really embraced and found out how much he loves the game during that period in time," Whittingham said. "Not that he wasn’t a hard worker and a guy that wasn’t all in and competitive, but when you have something that’s been taken away from you for a period of time, it opens your eyes a little bit."

The ultimate test is Thursday afternoon, when Wilson finally goes live against tacklers who aren’t teammates. Wilson knows he’ll get taken down at least once, but he doesn’t have butterflies about it.

"Obviously when I run, I’m going to get hit," he said. "Obviously I’m going to be safe about it, but I’m definitely not going to shy away from contact."


story continues below
story continues below

Bengals tempering their expectations

Speaking in a Big Sky conference call ahead of his team’s opener in Salt Lake City, Idaho State coach Mike Kramer acknowledged that his Bengals’ 44-game road losing streak, among other losing streaks, "are just nasty."

"Opening up at Utah and next week at Utah State, I’m sure that that streak’s really not in danger," he said.

He feels good about his team’s progress, however.

The fourth-year coach said Idaho State now has the athleticism and experience to compete in the Big Sky. His defense has improved considerably since an "unmitigated disaster" in 2012, when eight opponents scored 49 or more points, and four scored 70. Last year, only three opponents scored 49 or more, and two of those (BYU and Washington) were FBS opponents.

They haven’t come so far, though, that he can expect to beat Utah or Utah State.

"We’re still trying to build ourselves toward winning the games we should win," he said. "Those games that you can’t win unless something fortunately comes to you, we’re probably a little ways from doing that."

Utes planning scoreboard upgrade

Utah Athletic Director Chris Hill told The Tribune on Tuesday that the U. plans to install a new south end zone scoreboard at Rice-Eccles Stadium by the start of the 2015 football season.

The scoreboard will be larger and have a higher-quality picture than the current one, Hill said. The sound system — which Hill acknowledges is bad — will also be improved.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.