Cameron Rising hopes to follow Tyler Huntley as Utah’s starting quarterback in 2020, but if he does, it will mark his first opportunity to take the field for the Utes.
The NCAA has denied Rising’s request for a waiver that would have made him eligible to play this season as a transfer from Texas, Utah announced Monday. That news was offset by receiver Derrick Vickers’ being granted an extra year of eligibility, enabling him to play as a senior in 2019.
Rising joined the Utes in January as in essence the replacement for quarterback Jack Tuttle, who left the program last October and has transferred to Indiana. Tuttle received a waiver in April and likely will be the Hoosiers’ No. 2 QB in 2019.
With Rising ineligible this season sophomore Jason Shelley is the clear-cut backup to Huntley, with Drew Lisk at No. 3. And the ruling means that Rising won’t have played in games for two years as of 2020, when he expects to compete with Shelley for the starting job. He will have three seasons to play for the Utes, based on the NCAA’s five-year eligibility clock.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he was “disappointed” with the ruling, adding that Rising would “continue to have a positive impact on our program” in practice and be ready to compete the following season.
Highly recruited out of Southern California and ranked comparably to Tuttle as a national prospect in the class of 2018, Rising didn’t get any playing time at Texas last season. He entered the transfer portal in December, believing that Sam Ehlinger was entrenched as the Longhorns’ quarterback.
Transfers ordinarily have to sit out a calendar year. Rising’s appeal was based on Utah offering a criminology academic major and being closer to home for the sake of a family member’s health issues. As he said in March, “I’m expecting the worst and hoping for the best; that’s how I’ve been treating it.”
Rising was among six quarterbacks participating in spring practice. Carter Robinson, a preferred walk-on from Wisconsin, is joining the program as a freshman this summer.
Vickers, who graduated from high school in 2014, had a year added to his clock. Injuries and academic issues kept him from arriving at Utah from Bakersfield (Calif.) College until last August, just in time for preseason camp. Vickers didn’t catch any passes last season, but he returned four kickoffs for 78 yards. He was part of the receivers’ rotation in the spring, notably taking handoffs on sweeps in scrimmages. Vickers received a degree from Utah in May and will be among more than 20 football players enrolled in graduate programs.