No doubt, Utah redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Rose is confident in his abilities.

Sporting diamond studs in his ears, the 6-foot-2, 207-pounder from Temecula, California, has sparkled and shined in the brief practice periods the media is allowed to watch since spring practices began. 

“I definitely feel like I can make any throw in the game. Definitely the way that I study and the way that I translate that side of the game over. It’s very beneficial.” — Utah QB Brandon Rose on his strengths as a quarterback

Rose is competing for the backup quarterback spot behind starter Cam Rising, who is not participating in spring drills as he recovers from knee surgery. He and redshirt freshman Nate Johnson are getting the majority of the reps in practices.

And Rose is making the most of his opportunities. His accuracy and deep passes downfield have impressed.

Asked about what his strengths are, Rose said, “No. 1, my arm talent. I definitely feel like I can make any throw in the game. Definitely the way that I study and the way that I translate that side of the game over. It’s very beneficial.”

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Coach Kyle Whittingham provided an update on the quarterback battle Tuesday. 

“Incremental progress. We’ve still got a long ways to go. We’re starting to see a little bit of separation but nothing that’s worthy of comment right now. It’s four practices down, 11 to go,” he said. “Hopefully, as we continue to get deeper into spring ball, we’ll see even more separation in a good way.

“Guys separate themselves by emerging from the pack. The No. 1 objective this spring is to get that solidified. If not solidified, at least a really good start on it for fall.”

What factors will determine the pecking order in terms of the quarterback depth chart? 

“Taking care of the football is always job one for the quarterback, making sure we possess the ball and don’t turn it over; moving the chains, getting us in the end zone, all of that stuff,” Whittingham said. “But there’s stuff that’s more intangible — the leadership, the ‘it’ factor, that field-general mentality you look for in a quarterback. The guy that can take command in the huddle that really has that presence. We’re looking for that as well.”

Utah QB Brandon Rose has been impressive this spring. Says receiver Devaughn Vele of Rose: “He has that little swagger coming with him.” | University of Utah Athletics

A three-star pro-style quarterback out of Murrieta Valley High, Rose threw for 7,521 yards and 74 touchdowns during his career. He was named Southwestern League MVP on the way to leading his team to a league championship as a senior before enrolling at Utah in January 2022. 

Rose spent last season running the scout team, going up against the Utes’ first-team defense in practice.

“It was great because that speed of going against the ones every day, giving me the opportunity to do that has made it more of a smoother transition to spring ball,” he said about quarterbacking the scout team.

Since last spring, Rose feels “more comfortable with the speed of the game. It’s slowed down a little bit for me. That’s the main difference between this spring and last spring.”

This is how offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig describes Rose: “He’s an athletic, drop-back passer. His arm talent is off the chart. I’m super excited about that. When he gets under duress, for a bigger-body guy, he has excellent escapability and really deceptive speed.”

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In Utah’s first practice last week, Rose connected on a touchdown pass to wide receiver Devaughn Vele in the corner of the end zone. 

“He has a lot of confidence, coming from a guy that was on the scout team. You get a lot of good looks against the (first team) defense every day, especially during the season,” Vele said about Rose. “He has that little swagger coming with him, knowing that he went against this defense every day and he can put on display what he can do in the spring.”

What is Rose doing to try to set himself apart from the other backup quarterbacks? 

“Just coming in here and competing every day, doing the best that I can,” he said. “Have some fun and throw the ball around a little bit. It will speak for itself.”