Quarterback Charlie Brewer shines in Utah debut with perfect passing performance during spring game
Brewer completed 15 of 15 passes for 151 yards, two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 228.6 in one half of play in leading the Red Team to a 21-0 victory
In his Utah debut, quarterback Charlie Brewer turned in a perfect day at the spring game and provided the Utes a lot of hope for the future of the offense’s potential.
Brewer, a former Baylor star, completed 15 of 15 passes for 151 yards, two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 228.6 in one half of play.
The senior from Austin, Texas, guided the Red Team to a 21-0 victory over the Black Team on a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon in front of 6,500 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium, marking the end of spring practices.
Yes, Brewer stood out, and not just because he was the only player wearing a white jersey — meaning he wasn’t allowed to be tackled by the defense. He looked a like like the QB that helped guide Baylor to the Sugar Bowl a couple of years ago, and he also validated the praise that coach Kyle Whittingham has heaped upon him during the spring.
What did Whittingham think of Brewer’s performance Saturday?
“Clean, just like he’s been all spring. He’s a quick decision-maker, he’s accurate, he gets the ball out of his hand quickly,” Whittingham said. “He does a good job protecting the football. What you saw today was what we’ve been seeing all spring long.”
Brewer enjoyed being able to play with his teammates in the final scrimmage of the spring.
“I think it was fun for us to get out there, especially as an offensive unit and (put) an exclamation point on this spring,” he said. “We’re going to have some fun and show a glimpse of what we’ve been doing.”
Said wide receiver Solomon Enis, who caught four passes for 44 yards, including a 9-yard TD catch from Brewer: “His play’s been consistent, especially throughout practice. He’s just a consistent guy. How he was advertised when he got him, that’s what we got.
“He’s a dog. He’s a great captain and a great leader. He’s going to spread the ball when he can and he’s a playmaker. He’s going to go in and be like, ‘Get open, I’m going to get you the ball.’ I think it’s a great fit for him to be here and I’m excited for the future.”
Certainly, Brewer has set a high bar going into the 2021 season and in terms of the race for the starting quarterback job. As Whittingham has been saying for a while, Brewer and sophomore Cam Rising, who sat out of spring practices as he recovers from shoulder surgery, will engage in what’s expected to be a spirited quarterback competition in August.
“It’s going to be a great battle between him and Cam come fall camp for that No. 1 spot,” Whittingham said. “Charlie has really done an outstanding job of integrating into our program, becoming a Ute, understanding how we do things, and he is a guy that we have a lot of hope for.
“It’s going to be a great battle between him and Cam come fall camp for that No. 1 spot.” — Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham on quarterback battle between Charlie Brewer and Cam Rising
“Cam, coming off last year, earning that job and then unfortunately getting hurt in that first game, that tells you what we think of Cam as well. That should be a great battle this fall.”
Said linebacker Devin Lloyd, who was held out of the scrimmage: “Charlie’s a tough quarterback. He’s very instinctual and accurate. As you saw, he made some big plays today. It’s going to be a fun battle. I liked what the other quarterbacks are doing, too. Come fall camp, it’s going to be a battle. We all know that. I think all the quarterbacks will step up to that challenge. It will be fun.”
Freshman Peter Costelli was the starting quarterback for the Black Team, and he completed 3 of 8 passes for 23 yards. Freshman Ja’Quinden Jackson, who replaced Brewer and started the second half for the Red Team, was 3 of 8 for 28 yards.
Jackson turned some heads with his running ability, rushing nine times for 31 yards, including a game-high 18-yard run.
Freshman Bryson Barnes was 1 of 1 passing for minus-3 yards in relief of Costelli.
Freshman wide receiver DeVaughn Vele had a breakout performance, catching four passes for 66 yards, including a 5-yard, juggling touchdown catch from Brewer in the second quarter.
“I have very high expectations for him,” Brewer said of Vele. “I feel like he’s a complete receiver. He has size and he can jump out of a gym and really go up and high-point the ball. He’s a big-play receiver. I feel like he’s going to have a huge fall.”
Vele, who hauled in a 40-yard pass from Brewer, described the chemistry he’s been able to develop with Brewer during the spring.
“It’s great. Me and Charlie are always really good at communicating with each other what we see from the defense and what we think can work. We did that today in the spring game,” he said.
“He had little audibles here and there, reading the defense, understanding the defense and understanding what we can do to make those big plays happen. Our relationship is great and I know it can be better, too, as the time passes and both of us continue to work together throughout summer camp and eventually into fall camp.”
Louisiana State transfer Chris Curry rushed six times for 44 yards, while Oklahoma transfer TJ Pledger picked up 31 yards on six attempts. Freshman Micah Bernard had four yards on two carries.
“Those guys showed some good stuff today. That’s what they’ve been doing all spring long,” Whittingham said of Pledger and Curry. “Between those two and Micah Bernard, we think we’ve got three backs at least that are really going to be top-notch guys and very capable. Then we have Ricky Parks, who’s coming this summer, and you saw Charlie Vincent do some good things in the scrimmage. We think that position is going to be just fine and very productive for us.”
Freshman Faysal Aden scored the final touchdown of the day with 17 seconds left in the scrimmage on a 1-yard run.
Whittingham was pleased with the scrimmage and his team’s 15 spring practices.
“It was a good culmination to spring ball. A lot of guys making plays out there. It was a good spring overall,” he said. “We made a lot of progress. We got a lot of things sorted out. We still have some things to sort out going forward. That’s what fall camp is for. I think we’re in a good place right now.”
Utah opens the 2021 season at home against Weber State on Thursday, Sept. 2.
EXTRA POINTS: Among those held out of the scrimmage were Lloyd, defensive lineman Mika Tafua, offensive linemen Nick Ford and Jaren Kump and tight end Brant Kuithe. ... New Utah basketball coach Craig Smith and his family were recognized on the field between the first and second quarters … Utah’s national championship-winning ski team was honored at halftime.