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Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes will leave the program after the bowl game

Barnes heads to the NCAA Transfer Portal with two years of eligibility remaining.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes quarterback Bryson Barnes (16) finds his play as the Utah Utes host the Arizona State Sun Devils in NCAA football in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.

The pig farmer is in search of a new pen.

Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on Monday and will leave the program after four seasons.

Barnes went from a walk-on to a household name in Utah, appearing in two Rose Bowls and starting eight games this season in relief of the injured Cam Rising.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped me throughout my journey,” Barnes wrote on social media. “And thank you to Utah. Excited to see what the future holds.”

Barnes is famously from Milford, Utah, where he grew up working on a pig farm. It earned him the nickname “The Pig Farmer.”

After Barnes went into USC this year and beat Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, head coach Kyle Whittingham said, “They’ve got a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback, and so they’re gonna make some [plays] and that’s just the way it is, but we’ve got ourselves a pig farmer at quarterback, so we’re proud of that guy, too.”

Barnes had the critical last drive where he ran Utah into field goal range to set up the game-winner as time expired.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes quarterback Bryson Barnes (16) runs for a first down, as the Utah Utes face the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

In his career, Barnes threw for 1,970 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was mostly a career backup, with a few notable exceptions. Along with freshman quarterback Nate Johnson this season, he helped guide Utah to the Las Vegas Bowl as Rising missed the entire year. Johnson announced last week that he was entering the transfer portal.

Barnes intends to play in the bowl game on Dec. 23. He has two years of eligibility remaining due to his redshirt and COVID year.