The Utes and Cougars have two veteran, experienced quarterbacks capable to leading their respective teams to very successful seasons in 2012. But if you had to trust just one to lead your team to victory, who would it be, Jordan Wynn or Riley Nelson?
Wynn is finally healthy. After his last two seasons were ended by shoulder injuries, Wynn has gotten stronger and is very comfortable in Brian Johnson's new offense. His arm strength is returning, and while it may never be where it once was, Wynn's accuracy and decision making have only improved. He also has talented wide receivers around him in DeVonte Christopher and Dres Anderson, and Wynn will only benefit from a superstar running back like John White.
There are concerns though. Wynn has two new starting offensive tackles protecting him in Miles Mason and Percy Taumoelau. There is no doubt Wynn will suffer his share of hits from the fast and physical defenses in the Pac-12. Can he survive? He hasn't in the past. However, if Wynn goes down again, the Utes are more prepared than they were last year at the backup quarterback position with Travis Wilson and Jon Hayes.
As for Nelson, with his aggressive running style, he is also an injury risk. But Nelson, who did miss a game last year because of a rib and lung injury, has the physique of a running back and is far more durable than Wynn. Like Wynn, Nelson also has outstanding receiving talent around him in Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo. Where Nelson surpasses win is in the leadership category. While he may not be the most talented quarterback in the nation, Nelson can inspire an entire team to great effort.
However, Nelson has yet to lead BYU to victory over a great team. His two signature wins were over Utah State and Tulsa. Those aren't exactly national championship caliber teams. Nelson will get his chance this year to make his mark against the likes of Utah, Boise State, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.
So which quarterback do you trust the most? I say Nelson. While he does not have the starting experience Wynn has, his heart, desire, leadership and durability make him the safer bet.
I still feel Utah has the better team, but when just choosing quarterbacks, I'll take Riley Nelson.