SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - The most anticipated Utes football season ever kicked off today with the start of fall training camp. How the Utes will fare in their first year in the Pac-12 Conference largely rides on the surgically repaired shoulder of quarterback Jordan Wynn.
Wynn missed all of spring practice, but says he's now 100 percent as he enters his junior season.
"It was fun," said Wynn after his first practice since November, 2010. "I was talking to the guys today like, 'Ya, you saw that throw. That was from me!' Kind of like, 'Hey, I'm back.'"
Wynn is back, but he's being limited to 100 throws per day just to play it safe with his injured throwing shoulder.
"It felt good," said Wynn, who threw 79 passes today. "No pain, no soreness right now. I feel good. I know they're counting my throws, but I felt great today and I'll just continue to go with it."
What impressed head coach Kyle Whittingham most about Wynn's return?
"Everything," Whittingham said. "Great leadership, he's throwing the ball well, he's got good velocity, he's putting the ball in the right spots. He's making the right decisions, getting us lined up, getting motions and shifts going the way they're supposed to. So, it's a big positive having him run the show."
"He's still progressing," said wide receiver DeVonte Christopher. "He didn't get the reps in spring throwing the ball, so when we're doing our play-action and certain throws, he's getting back in the rhythm. But from what I've seen, he's on the right track."
Wynn is also trying to ingest offensive coordinator Norm Chow's brand new offense. Wynn is now taking snaps directly behind center rather than in the shotgun formation. But Wynn has played in a similar system before.
"I came from this type of system in high school," Wynn said. "It's like riding a bike. You don't really forget it, it's just that you have to re-learn it almost. But we worked hard in the summer getting this all down."
There are plenty of elite quarterbacks in the Pac-12, with guys like Andrew Luck of Stanford and USC's Matt Barkley. Wynn feels he can step up to that level before his Ute career comes to an end.
"I'm a junior now, I'm not that young guy anymore," he said. "It's time for me to step up and kind of assert myself as being in that category with those guys. That's my goal."
"The expectation level is very high, and we'll keep pushing," said Chow. "I told him the other day that when you start talking quarterbacks, he's up with the elite guys, Barkley and Luck, that's where he belongs."