Former Purdue redshirt quarterback Ryan Breska, a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder who has three years of NCAA eligibility remaining, toured the University of Utah campus with his parents Friday and Saturday and has long indicated some interest in joining the school's football program.

Because the Fountain Valley, Calif., resident would be a walk-on, at least to start out, Utah coaches do not know for certain if he will join the program in August, when fall practices begin. The only way they will know is if he reports to camp. Coach Ron McBride and offensive coordinator/quarterback coach Tommy Lee said they cannot comment on him now.

Breska would not have to sign any commitment in advance and could go elsewhere should he or his parents choose.

He has not yet been admitted to the U., though his grades indicate that would not be a problem.

Breska got his release from the Purdue program at the end of the semester. Out of high school, he was reportedly recruited by Washington, California and UCLA as well as Utah, which got into the race late and lost out to the Boilermakers last year.

At Fountain Valley, where former Ute cornerback Jimmy Nolan is an assistant coach, Breska in 1998 completed 128 of 255 passes for 2,098 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. He reportedly had 4.7 40-yard dash speed.

Breska could sit out the 2000 season, along with incoming Oregon QB Brett Elliott, who would redshirt, and then join what would likely be a battle for 2001 with Elliott, Joel Gines and Lance Rice for the starting job. The Utes have three seniors with at least some experience at quarterback for 2000 — T.D. Croshaw, Darnell Arceneaux and Tony Alvarez.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com