Is Utah football about to have a QB downside?

Cam Rising will return for a sixth yr in 2023, however his availability is in query after leaving the Rose Bowl for the second straight season due to damage, this time to his left knee

(Meg Oliphant | Special to The Tribune) Utah quarterback Cameron Rising (7) runs with the ball within the third quarter in opposition to the Penn State Nittany Lions at Rose Bowl Stadium on Jan. 2, 2023 in Pasadena, Calif.

Cam Rising could also be returning for a sixth yr, however his damage within the Rose Bowl, and Kyle Whittingham’s preliminary postgame sense that it is one thing long run, are threatening what was lining up as doubtlessly one other large football season for the University of Utah in 2023.

Neither anybody in cost, nor inside Rising’s internal circle is saying publicly precisely what the damage is or what the timetable appears to be like like. The perception is that he’s not less than out for spring apply, with being prepared for the beginning of fall camp in August in some doubt. Let’s roll with that.

Despite what the message board medical doctors have to say, hypothesis on the damage and the timeline does not profit anybody, however assuming that is a long-term state of affairs that may value Rising not less than spring, listed below are the reasonable situations to take into account. Of course, what rehab appears to be like like will dictate how this performs out.

1. Rising rehabs himself again for the beginning of fall camp.

2. Rising Is not prepared for camp, however he is prepared for the common season

3. Rising will not be prepared for camp, neither is he prepared for the beginning of the common season.

I have a lot of questions.

If No. 1 pans out and Rising is bodily prepared, he’s the unquestioned starter. If it is No. 2, is he the unquestioned starter to open the season with out the good thing about spring or a full fall camp?

My intuition there may be sure, however there not less than has to be a dialog. Within all that, with Rising out for spring, are you going portal diving searching for a veteran possibility? It’s getting a little late for that, however nobody may have predicted an damage right here.

no 3 can be essentially the most attention-grabbing, essentially the most fascinating. With Rising shelved, what if Nate Johnson wins the job out of camp, and comes out of the gate nicely. I’m making this up, however what if Johnson is 3-1 and even 4-0 in opposition to an early slate that may embody Florida, Baylor, and a TBD Pac-12 opponent? If Rising is prepared at that time, then what?

Whittingham makes $6 million-plus yearly for a motive.

Other issues on my thoughts

• Eight Utah football gamers have entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. None of them are a complete shock, however fourth-year sophomore working again Micah Bernard selecting to discover an expanded function elsewhere is definitely noteworthy.

Bernard confirmed up at Utah as a 17-year outdated, and actually had to wait his flip in what was, and has largely continued to be, a loaded place room. He was by no means a bell cow, however when he was wholesome, he was far and away the Utes’ most versatile backfield possibility, particularly as a move catcher.

Late within the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Jordan Wilmore and Devin Brumfield left this system earlier than the finale, the late Ty Jordan was thriving, and Whittingham didn’t cover the very fact he meant to hit the portal for extra assist. The simple factor for Bernard to do would have been to observe Wilmore and Brumfield out the door. He caught round, bought two Rose Bowls out of it, and cult legend standing after he performed each methods within the 2022 Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State.

History, not to point out this fan base, ought to look kindly upon Bernard because the years go by.

• Utah’s 2021 recruiting class counted quarterbacks Peter Costelli, working again Ricky Parks, and linebackers Ethan Calvert and Mason Tufaga as four-star commits. With Parks coming into the portal late final week, all 4 of them are gone, none performed a main function, and Costelli, Tufaga, and Parks by no means even performed a snap.

Did Utah whiff right here? Absolutely, however in equity, the 2021 class has been a little bit of a mess in a lot of locations, particularly as a result of in-person analysis was inconceivable thanks to a 15-month NCAA-mandated lifeless interval on recruiting exercise throughout the coronary heart of the COVID -19 pandemic.

Also in equity, all of these guys have been ready behind veterans inside loaded place rooms every of the final two seasons.

• As you watch the Runnin’ Utes repeatedly battle on offense, like they did late Thursday night time at UCLA, accomplish that whereas conserving in thoughts that Craig Smith has only one open scholarship for the time being for 2023-24. That quantity would after all shift if the fellows left. To that time, additionally understand that Branden Carlson and Jaxon Brenchley each have the choice to return for a fifth yr after the 2020-21 season was an eligibility freebie thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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