Here is who is on the move from Utah and BYU as the transfer portal churns

The NCAA Transfer Portal opened Monday, with more than a dozen players from Utah already out

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes quarterback Nate Johnson (13) celebrates his 59-yard run touchdown as the Utah Utes host the Arizona State Sun Devils in NCAA football in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.

The NCAA Transfer Portal opened up this week with hundreds of players looking for new destinations.

Utah and BYU were busy looking at who will leave their programs, but also potential replacements at key positions of need.

As of midday Monday, there were already more than dozen players from the two programs on their way out. Here is who is on the move from around the state.

Utah QBs

With the announcement of Cam Rising’s return for the 2024 season, Utah has subsequently had three quarterbacks decide to enter the transfer portal.

Nate Johnson informed coaches of his intent two weeks ago, in the lead-up to the regular-season finale against Colorado.

But on Monday, the Utes found out two other QBs will be exploring their options.

The most significant, of course, is Bryson Barnes, the “pig farmer”-turned-starter who gained cult hero status for his appearances in the Rose Bowl games, then went on to start eight games this season.

Freshman Mack Howard also announced he is entering the portal, though.

Linebackers leaving

Also among those leaving the Utes are a couple of promising young linebackers, Justin Medlock and Owen Chambliss.

Linebackers coach Colton Swan said during fall camp that this year’s was the most talented position group he’s ever had, in part because of the youngsters.

“Justin Medlock, who redshirted as a freshman last year … I’m excited for his upside. And then you’re adding young guys like Owen Chambliss. So just the amount of depth and amount of good talent they have is really exciting,” said Swan.

Wideouts out

Sophomore wide receiver Makai Cope had a good spring and was expected to potentially have a big role with the team this year, but couldn’t usurp much playing time from the likes of Devaughn Vele, Money Parks, Mikey Matthews, Munir McClain, or even Emery Simmons.

Matthews also left the room, taking with him one of head coach Kyle Whittingham’s favorite targets.

Secondary departures

Cornerback Faybian Marks likewise was considered an early contender for playing time, but the Utes opted for Zemaiah Vaughn and JaTravis Broughton on the outside, with Tao Johnson getting most of the reps at nickel, and freshman Smith Snowden getting a bigger role as the year went on.

The Utes are also losing a pair of safeties who were initial contenders to replace one of last year’s transfers, Clayton Isbell, who had been projected as the team’s starting free safety.

When Utah ultimately shifted Sione Vaki from slot corner to free safety, that left out Jadon Pearson, who’d seen playing time mostly on special teams, and Darrien “Bleu” Stewart, whose name came up myriad times from head coach Kyle Whittingham and defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley as one to watch.


BYU hasn’t seen the top of its roster churn just yet, but there have been plenty of depth chart pieces that have put their name in the portal.

Pass rusher John Henry Daley will leave the program after just one season. He was a promising freshman who could have helped a defensive line that struggled to get to the quarterback this offseason.

His brother, Michael Daley also left the program. But that was a mid-season departure and likely not as significant, as he was in his third year in the program and hadn’t truly cracked the rotation.

On the offensive side, BYU lost wide receiver Dom Henry. He was a young playmaker in the receiver room who put together a good spring camp last year. However, he was never able to truly translate those reps into game snaps.

BYU does have a number of younger receivers in the room, including JoJo Phillips and Parker Kingston.

The Cougars also lost third-string running back Miles Davis. Davis had a strong start to his career, but lost his role to other running backs in the room like freshman LJ Martin, veteran Aidan Robbins and eventually senior Hinckley Ropati (as he works his way back from an ACL injury).

One specialist, long-snapper Austin Riggs, entered the portal. He will be a grad transfer.