Utah football’s on-field leader is returning for the 2023 season.

On Monday morning, the program announced on social media that quarterback Cam Rising has opted to play for the Utes instead of entering his name in the 2023 NFL draft, and Rising announced it himself a short time later.

Utah’s starting quarterback for most of the last two seasons, Rising has thrown for 5,572 yards and 46 touchdowns against 14 interceptions and garnered Pac-12 All-Conference First Team honors in 2021 (honorable mention in 2022).

At the end of the regular season in November, Rising seemed to indicate that he would enter his name in the draft, although there was a sense that such may not end up being the case as the Rose Bowl neared.

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Then Rising was hurt during the Rose Bowl, sustaining an injury that head coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game, “doesn’t look good.”

The extent of the injury is still not clear, and thus it is not known if Rising will miss any of the 2023 season with it.

Nevertheless, should he be able to play most of the campaign, his return brings an incredible level of stability to an offense that would have otherwise had major question marks at quarterback with Bryson Barnes the only signal caller with any remotely significant experience under center.

That is particularly the case with the announcements already this week that tight ends Brant Kuithe and Thomas Yassmin, as well as wide receiver Devaughn Vele, are also returning in 2023.