As Utah wraps up fall camp, starting quarterback to be named soon
Senior Charlie Brewer and sophomore Cam Rising have been battling throughout camp and coach Kyle Whittingham has said picking a starter won’t be easy
With a second and final scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah wrapped up fall camp Saturday.
And now, the coaches are making a final decision on their starting quarterback.
Senior Charlie Brewer and sophomore Cam Rising have been battling throughout camp and coach Kyle Whittingham has said throughout the process that it’s a tight competition and that the decision won’t be easy.
Whittingham said a starter will be decided Saturday after the staff had a chance to evaluate and digest film of the scrimmage.
“We’ll definitely have a guy named on Monday,” Whittingham said.
As far as the public finding out who that starter is, Whittingham said a depth chart will likely be released Thursday, a week before Utah’s season opener against Weber State on Sept. 2.
However, he indicated that both could be listed as starters, which would prolong the mystery.
“We have a guy today that we’re going to name and it’s been legitimately a complete neck-and-neck competition. Both of those guys have done an outstanding job.” — Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham
Whittingham said he was happy with what he saw out of both quarterbacks Saturday. He also reiterated that Brewer and Rising have made the decision a difficult one.
“They’ve made it tough the entire time. It’s going to be a close call but we feel like we’ve got enough body of work now to make the call,” he said. “They’re both really good players. We’ve got a good situation in that regard. We’re picking from two guys that are both very high quality quarterbacks.”
When asked if this was as tough of a quarterback battle as he’s seen during his many years at Utah, Whittingham said, “It was.”
Then Whittingham underscored that the delay in naming a starter isn’t about gamesmanship. He recalled that when Tyler Huntley and Troy Williams were competing a few years ago, everyone presumed the starter would be Williams. But it was Huntley.
Last year, when Jake Bentley and Rising were battling, many supposed Bentley would win the job. But it was Rising.
“We have a guy today that we’re going to name and it’s been legitimately a complete neck-and-neck competition,” Whittingham said. “Both of those guys have done an outstanding job.”
Many have presumed that Brewer, a Baylor transfer with three years of starting experience, had the job locked up.
Rising, coming off shoulder surgery, has worked hard to put himself in contention for the starting job.
“In fairness to Cam, without being here in the spring, we owed it to him to give him every opportunity. He won the job last year and it wouldn’t be intelligent to not give him every chance to see where he’s at and he’s proven that he’s back right where he left off last year,” Whittingham said. “Then you’ve got Charlie Brewer, who’s thrown for 10,000 yards and won 40-something games at this level. He’s got his plus-side of the ledger as well.”
The other offensive players have said they feel comfortable with both quarterbacks.
“You can’t go wrong. Having a great starting and backup quarterback, we don’t know yet. But it’s a great situation to be in because you never know,” said wide receiver Solomon Enis. “With Charlie and Cam, there’s no drop-off whatsoever. I can’t even decide who’s going to be the first one.”
Now that camp is over, the Utes can devote more time and attention to preparing for the season opener.
“We’ve been focusing in on Weber State, at least the receivers, for about a week-and-a-half now. We’ve been trying to get the playbook down but obviously you want to always keep them in the corner of your mind,” Enis said. “You don’t want to completely wash them out because they’re a great team. The best team is going to win that game. But with finishing up camp, now we can really lock in on who we’re going to play and I’m really excited for it.”