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Utah football: Utes quarterbacks draw praise after first week of spring ball

SALT LAKE CITY — Jack Tuttle is fitting right in at the University of Utah. The true freshman quarterback, who enrolled in school early after a stellar prep career in Southern California, said it’s “basically like coming to another home.” Having committed to the Utes long ago, he was already comfortable with a lot of things.

Nothing changed after his first week of spring ball. Following Saturday’s practice, Tuttle noted that everything has been amazing and that he feels fortunate and thankful to be in the program.

The feeling is quite mutual. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Tuttle is mature beyond his years, more like a 28-year-old veteran than someone who could still be in high school.

“He’s just been as advertised,” Whittingham continued. “We’re excited to see his development and his progress.”

Tuttle, who has already been elected to the team’s leadership council, describes himself as “just a guy on the team who is trying to work hard and be a good brother.” He didn’t expect the leadership position so soon, but considers it an honor.

“Honestly, I came here with the mindset to do anything I could for this team,” Tuttle said.

Offensive coordinator Troy Taylor credits Tuttle for assimilating information well. He joked that the young quarterback could still be in high school eating grilled cheese for lunch.

Instead, Tuttle is enrolled in college and competing against returning starter Tyler Huntley and redshirt freshman Jason Shelley in camp.

Whittingham said the quarterbacks have been very sharp. He added that they’re making good decisions and are going to the right place with the ball. There have been very few turnovers.

“So they’re on track,” Whittingham said. “It’s a great quarterback situation for us, and (we’re) looking forward to see how it plays out.”

Huntley, a junior, drew praise from Taylor for going through his progressions better and displaying appropriate movement in the pocket.

The offense, as a whole, has made strides through four practices.

“It was a real good week. Great competition,” Taylor said. “We got a lot better this week and I feel good about it. I feel great. I feel like we’re much further along than we were last spring at every position.”

Tuttle insists the offense can’t be stopped if the Utes get their fundamentals down and focus on their craft. He said he loves the scheme and believes it fits the skill set of each of the quarterbacks.

The competition with Huntley, explained Tuttle, has been awesome.

“Tyler and I are really good teammates, good friends, and we’re just trying to make each other better,” Tuttle said. “That’s really the main goal — is to make each other better and keep on getting the offense going.”

Overall, Whitingham said, it was a real good week for the Utes. Saturday was the first full day in pads. Although there was no live work, he thought the team played smart, got a lot of done and with a lot of physicality.

Everyone was working hard with a great attitude, Whittingham continued, with a lot of “willingness and passion.”

Utah will practice twice next week before taking time off for spring break.