Utah receiver Bryan Thompson enters the transfer portal

Thompson was a big-play wideout for the Utes, but his departure not seen as prohibitive for the position group

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utes wide receiver Bryan Thompson (1) runs for a Utah touchdown, in PAC-12 football acton between Utah Utes and Washington State Cougars at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

The University of Utah lost a veteran wide receiver on Monday afternoon.

Bryan Thompson, a redshirt junior who played in all five games in 2020 and 33 for his career, has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal, The Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed. 247sports.com was first to report Thompson’s exit from Salt Lake City.

With the NCAA having frozen eligibility for fall athletes in the face of the COVID-19, Thompson will again be a redshirt junior in 2021.

In 33 career games with the Utes dating back to the 2017 season, Thompson had 33 catches for 756 yards and four touchdowns. The Moreno Valley, Calif., native broke out in 2019 as a redshirt junior, hauling in 18 passes for 461 yards and three scores.

Projected as a larger part of the offense in 2020, Thompson, long-viewed as a big-play downfield threat, had nine catches for 187 yards and a touchdown in five games.

Utah loses production and depth at wide receiver with Thompson leaving, but his loss should not be considered prohibitive to the unit. In 2020, wide receivers Britain Covey and Solomon Enis, plus All Pac-12 tight end Brant Kuithe combined for 55 receptions.

Samson Nacua’s return in 2021 would also be a boon to Utah’s passing offense. Nacua played in four games in 2020, but was banged up for much of the truncated season.