The University of Utah has its next starting quarterback.
Charlie Brewer will start the Sept. 2 season-opener vs. in-state FCS power Weber State at Rice-Eccles Stadium (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks), multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday morning.
After Saturday’s fall camp-ending live scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said he and his staff would make a decision later in the day, with the pick set to take over the offense when practice reconvened on Monday, 11 days until the opener.
But on Monday afternoon, Whittingham said only that a full depth chart would be released later this week.
“We’ll have a depth chart on Thursday, and that’s how we’re going to handle it,” Whittingham said after practice. “I guess somebody made some predictions or think they know. I guess they have a 50-50 shot. We’ll have a definitive depth chart on Thursday.”
Utah officials did not make any of the team’s quarterbacks available to reporters Monday.
Brewer outdueled redshirt sophomore Cam Rising, who was vying to win the starting job for the second time in as many years. In 2020, Rising beat out South Carolina graduate transfer Jake Bentley, but was lost for the season on the 14th offensive snap of the opener vs. USC.
Rising had shoulder surgery, went through rehabilitation, and did not compete in spring practice, but Whittingham said all along that Rising would be ready for fall camp and a quarterback competition.
Whittingham said in the days leading up to fall camp that he would prefer the quarterback situation be settled “sooner rather than later,” but things did not play out that way. Coming off season-ending surgery to his throwing shoulder, Rising made things tougher on Brewer than most thought would be the case. Following the team’s first live scrimmage on Aug. 14, Whittingham called the quarterback competition “neck and neck,” while saying a decision would not be made before the second scrimmage took place on Saturday.
While Rising rehabbed, Brewer arrived in Salt Lake City in January, complete with a resume that preceded him. Across four seasons and 44 games, the Austin, Texas native passed for 9,700 yards and 65 touchdowns, while completing 63.5% of his passes for the Bears, who advanced to the Big 12 championship game and played in the Sugar Bowl in 2019 behind Brewer.
Whittingham was effusive in his praise of Brewer during spring practice, capped by Brewer’s 15-for-15, 151-yard showing in the spring game. Earlier in camp, Whittingham stated that Brewer’s command of the offense is almost on par with that of Rising, despite Rising being at Utah two-plus years longer.
Rising will serve as the backup quarterback, while who will be No. 3 between second-year true freshman Ja’Quinden Jackson and Peter Costelli, the crown jewel of Utah’s latest recruiting class, is currently unclear.
Utah names five captains, leadership council for 2021 season
Later Monday, Utah revealed that Rising, wide receiver/return specialist Britain Covey, All-American linebacker Devin Lloyd, two-time All-Pac-12 defensive end Mika Tafua, and senior short/long snapper Keegan Markgraf will serve as captains for the 2021 season.
Additionally, Utah released its 16-player leadership council, which includes all five captains, plus a host of veterans. The leadership council includes second-year freshman cornerback Clark Phillips III, the highest-rated recruit in the history of the program, and fourth-year junior running back TJ Pledger.
Pledger’s inclusion on the leadership council is noteworthy because he has ascended to that position without yet having played a game for the Utes. A veteran of 30 games at the University of Oklahoma from 2018-20, Pledger transferred to Utah in January, in time for spring practice.
The Salt Lake Tribune will update this story