SALT LAKE CITY — Former pro quarterback David Carr gave a glowing endorsement of Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley earlier this year at the East-West Shrine Bowl.

“What I saw today was a very accurate passer and a guy who can move really well. Lamar Jackson has done a lot for some of these guys that can move and create,” Carr said on the NFL Network after the game. “I think it might have helped his draft position, and then he went out and played well in an all-star game.”

Coincidentally, a man who has coached both Carr, the top pick in 2002, and Huntley also had high praise for the Utes’ quarterback, who made a significant improvement between his junior and senior seasons to emerge as an NFL draft prospect.

“He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever coached,” Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who also coached 2009 Sugar Bowl Most Outstanding Player Brian Johnson, told the Deseret News. “The guy is going to be an excellent pro. He’s going to be an excellent professional quarterback.”

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After his stellar senior season, the cerebral playmaker impressed Carr and many others by leading his West team to two scoring drives in a 31-27 win.

Despite that performance and a senior campaign in which he earned co-Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors from The Associated Press, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound quarterback was not invited to the NFL combine. One AFC offensive coach even told, “I can’t see him making it as an NFL quarterback. Just doesn’t have the size and tools for it. He might be a position switch player.”

Carr and his old coach aren’t Huntley’s only fans. The Draft Network’s Joe Marino considers the versatile QB to be one of the biggest sleeper picks and claimed he was “severely overlooked” leading up to the draft. Huntley was second in the nation in completion percentage (.731) and was among the nation’s leaders in pass efficiency (177.6 rating) last season.

“I think people are missing the boat on Tyler,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Whoever takes him or whatever camp he gets into, they’re going to be pleasantly surprised because he’s a fierce competitor and, like I said, I think he is not getting the recognition that he deserves.”

Huntley came to Utah from Miami, Florida, with fellow Hallandale High teammates Zack Moss and Demari Simpkins — the Hallandale Trio — after being named the 2015 Florida Gatorade Football Player of the Year. In four years at Hallandale, Huntley went 34-10 as a starter while passing for 9,053 yards and 106 touchdowns.

Huntley saw action in four games as a freshman at Utah and moved into a starting role as a sophomore, throwing for 2,411 yards (15 TD, 10 INT) with a 6-4 record. Huntley’s junior season (1,788 yards passing, 12 TDs, six INTs) was cut five games short because of an injury.

The gifted athlete showed he was capable of being an accurate passer and a reliable leader his senior season en route to earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors. Huntley went without an interception in his first 149 passes of the season and finished with just four on the season. He finished the season connecting on 220 of 301 passes for 19 touchdowns while also rushing for five scores and 290 yards. That led to him being in the running for a slew of postseason awards: Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (finalist), the Manning Award (finalist), Walter Camp Player of the Year Award (semifinalist), the Davey O’Brien Award (semifinalist) and the Lombardi Award (semifinalist).

Huntley helped the Utes surge to a No. 5 ranking and an 11-1 record with a legitimate shot at a spot in the College Football Playoffs before the team struggled against Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game, falling 37-15. The Utes again stumbled in the San Antonio Bowl, losing to Texas 38-17.