SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – It was a banner day for the University of Utah football team, as quarterback Cam Rising, tight end Brant Kuithe and wide receiver DeVaughn Vele all announced they are returning to the Utes for the 2023 season.
In a video posted on Twitter by the University’s football program, Rising’s return was announced with the caption “Bad Moon is back.” Rising tweeted the same video saying, “Let’s run it back!”
Rising’s future with the University of Utah had been in question. After two successful years with Utah’s football program, Rising could have left for the NFL, as teammates Clark Phillips III and Dalton Kincaid did.
During the 35-21 loss to Penn State in Pasadena, Rising suffered a knee injury, which Head Coach Kyle Whittingham indicated at the time was serious.
“The injury to Cam is a leg injury and it doesn’t look good,” Whittingham said after the Rose Bowl. “We’ll wait for confirmation from the medical people either tonight or tomorrow. But it looks like something that could take a while to recover from. It breaks my heart. He’s such a warrior and such a fierce competitor.”
Rising will be a sixth-year senior with one year of eligibility remaining.
Rising has been a star with the University of Utah since transferring from Texas and redshirting in 2019. Despite having a difficult 2020, where he played only one game before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury, Rising has risen to stardom in 2021 and 2022.
Rising, elected a team captain, lead the Utes to back-to-back Pac-12 Championship wins over Oregon and USC, and two straight Rose Bowl appearances. In 2021, Rising took over for Charlie Brewer after a 1-2 start and threw for 2,493 yards and 20 touchdowns, and added 499 rushing yards for six touchdowns over 13 games.
In 2022, Rising only improved on the field, throwing 3,034 yards for 26 touchdowns, while rushing for 460 yards and six more scores. He was the third best quarterback in the Pac-12 behind USC’s Caleb Williams and Washington’s Michael Penix.
Rising has received numerous accolades during his time with the Utes. The 23-year-old quarterback was the Pac-12 All-Conference first-team quarterback in 2021 and was an honorable mention in 2022. He was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2022 Pac-12 Championship Game and in 2021 was a Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year.
Rising has had his setbacks, facing injuries in both of Utah’s Rose Bowl appearances, but the Utah star will be looking to make the third time the charm.
Tight end Brant Kuithe also announced that he is returning to Utah for a final season, as is wide receiver DeVaughn Vele.
Kuithe, considered one of the best tight ends in the country before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Arizona State, also posted a video on Twitter, writing, “Third time’s a charm.”
Kuithe was leading the team in receiving with 19 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns before suffering the injury. In five seasons with Utah, Kuithe has 148 catches for 1,882 and 16 touchdowns.
Vele is coming off his best season with the Utes, in which he led all Utah wide receivers with 55 receptions for 695 yards and five touchdowns. Vele had five receptions for 100 yards in the Rose Bowl.
Utah opens the 2023 season September 2nd at home against Florida.