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Utah’s Kyle Whittingham staying mum on who starting quarterback is as reports say it’s Charlie Brewer

The Utes did name their team captains and one of them is quarterback Cam Rising.

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University of Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham watches the proceedings during the opening of the new Ken Garff Red Zone at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Monday morning, reports began surfacing that Charlie Brewer has been named Utah’s starting quarterback after a spirited fall camp competition between Brewer and Cam Rising

Coach Kyle Whittingham told the media last Saturday that a depth chart listing the starters would be released Thursday. However, the starting quarterback was announced to the players Monday in a team meeting. 

By the time Whittingham met with the media late Monday afternoon, he stuck with his plan regarding the naming of a starter. 

“We’ll have a depth chart on Thursday. That’s how we’re going to handle it,” he said. “Somebody said that somebody made some predictions or think they know what’s up. I guess they have a 50-50 shot. We’ll have a definitive depth chart on Thursday.”

So, there will be no official announcement until then. 

None of the quarterbacks were made available to reporters Monday. 

Utah wide receiver Britain Covey said that Whittingham was upset that information had gotten out about the starting quarterback. 

“I wasn’t there when that happened. That’s according to one of the other position groups,” Covey said. “That happened in the morning …. it’s not about what information was leaked, it’s just about that it was.”

Despite the “leak,” Whittingham wasn’t about to change the way he deals with the issue with the media. 

“We’ll stick with our plan and go about our business, not be reactionary,” he said.

Meanwhile, Utah did announce Monday that the players have chosen team captains for the 2021 season, which kicks off Sept. 2 against Weber State.

Covey and Rising are the offensive captains while linebacker Devin Lloyd and defensive lineman Mika Tafua are the defensive captain. Long snapper Keegan Markgraf was named the special teams captain for Week One.  

“Five good selections by our team,” Whittingham said. “The players did an outstanding job of selecting their leadership.”

If Brewer is the starter, it makes for an interesting situation, given that Rising was voted a team captain. But this is not unprecedented within the program.

In recent years, quarterback Troy Williams was named a team captain but he did not start. Last season, Jake Bentley was a captain but wasn’t named the starter. 

“Five good (captain) selections by our team. The players did an outstanding job of selecting their leadership.” — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham

“It’s not unchartered territory if that’s the way it goes down,” Whittingham said. “I told the team, ‘Hey, we don’t vote for the funniest guy or the guy that’s your friend. You vote for the best leaders.’ I know that’s what they did.”

Whittingham reiterated that he’s happy to have two quality quarterbacks that could be the starter this season. 

“The fortunate thing is, we have two really good guys,” he said. “They’ll support either one. Whichever one gets the call, they’re going to rally behind. That’s what we expect.”

Covey said Rising deserved to be a team captain.  

“It’s really hard to be named captain when coming off an injury … That’s where I really admire Cam. He’s been in rehab all spring and most of the summer. And yet, he’s still taken the time to be with the guys, and take that leadership role,” he said. “The other thing about Cam is, he’s very jovial. You will never see Cam without a huge smile on his face. To me, he looks like a VeggieTales character. He’s constantly smiling with his mustache, and his long hair, very approachable. I’m really proud of him for being named captain.”

Asked if there could be a rift on the team based on which quarterback is selected as the starter, Covey said, “I can’t foresee anything of that happening, especially because Cam is such a good leader and Charlie is such a good leader. I don’t think that will happen … I don’t think there would be this absolute loyalty to one guy because there’s loyalty to the team and what we believe will be the best situation.”

Covey said that he likes this situation, having two solid QBs, especially after what happened last season, when Rising went down with a major shoulder injury in the opener. 

“It’s so nice to have two great quarterbacks, and two quarterbacks that are really good at what we’re trying to do this year,” he said. “It’s taken a big burden off of (offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig’s) shoulders because even Cam and Jake were really different players last year in capability and things like that. Game planning would hardly change at all, depending on who’s out there.”