SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – In a surprising announcement, Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham has named sophomore Tyler Huntley the team’s starting quarterback over senior Troy Williams.
Huntley threw just seven total passes last year as a freshman in four games, completing five for 60 yards, while Williams started all 13 games. Williams threw for 2,933 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in leading Utah to a 9-4 record in 2016. But he completed just 53.1 percent of his passes.
Under new offensive coordinator Troy Taylor’s pass-oriented system, Whittingham believes Huntley will be the more dynamic and accurate quarterback. Utah’s passing offense has struggled the last several years, finishing 10th in passing efficiency in the Pac-12 in 2016.
Huntley is also known as a duel threat quarterback. He rushed for 23 yards and one touchdown in the Foster Farms Bowl victory over Indiana.
The Utes were not made available to the media today for comment.
The move was especially shocking seeing how Williams was elected a team captain for the second straight year last week.
“I’m honored that my team has that kind of faith in me,” Williams said on Saturday. “That was one of my goals this season is to be a captain.”
Huntley, 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, was the 2015 Florida Gatorade High School Player of the Year, going 34-10 for Hallandale High School during his prep career.
Former Cottonwood High star and Alabama transfer Cooper Bateman is listed as the third string quarterback on the depth chart.