SALT LAKE CITY — There’s a pecking order, at least at the top, when it comes to Utah’s quarterback situation. The Utes opened camp with some clarity in the competition between junior Tyler Huntley, true freshman Jack Tuttle and redshirt freshman Jason Shelley.
“Tyler, right now, is the clear-cut No. 1,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “But Jason and Jack are battling for that No. 2 spot.”
Whittingham reiterated earlier comments that the plan is to give all the reps — at least early in camp — to the three quarterbacks. He said there is no timeline to get everything settled.
Huntley, the incumbent starter, is the Pac-12’s top returnee in terms of total offense. He averaged 294.8 yards per game in 2017.
“Obviously, we feel great about Tyler,” said offensive coordinator Troy Taylor. “You’ve got to have more than one quarterback, though. I like all the guys on the lineup. I think we can win with all of them.”
Taylor added that Shelley has been in the program a little bit longer than Tuttle and “gives you something with feet and he’s a good passer.” Tuttle, he continued, is obviously “a very talented kid.” Fourth-stringer Drew Lisk also drew some praise.
“I feel good about all those guys,” Taylor said.
The sorting-out process should be competitive.
“It’s definitely on. I’m excited for it,” Shelley said. “That’s what we play for. Guys come in every day to work and try to play.”
Huntley’s designation as the clear-cut No. 1 entering camp isn’t discouraging to the others.
“No. We’re good. We’re just going to keep working. It doesn’t really faze us or nothing,” Shelley said. “Because, you know, if you’re No. 2 you are one play away, and if you’re No. 3, you’re two plays away. So you’ve just got to be ready to play whenever your number is called.”
Shelley added that he’s super excited to be in the mix and on the field after redshirting last season,
“It was cool seeing the guys on TV and all that,” he said. “But it’s going to be even better being on the sideline, on the field, with them working.”
Tuttle, a highly touted newcomer, enrolled at Utah early and participated in spring ball. It’s given him some valuable experience in the program.
“I’m definitely glad I came and did that,” he said. “I think it was important for my growth.”
As for the competition at quarterback, Tuttle insists all is well.
“We’re all just having fun competing and doing our thing and trying to be our best,” he said.
Tuttle didn’t have much to say about the new rule that allows players to participate in up to four games and still preserve a redshirt year. It’s not something that’s on his mind as a possible scenario.
“All I’m going to do is compete my tail off and do whatever the coaches and the team needs me to do,” Tuttle said.
Overall, Tuttle noted that the Utes are pretty stocked at quarterback.
“I think we have a really good group, a lot of talent, in every area. We can run, we can throw,” he said. “It’s all coming together and we’re just competing and making each other better.”