SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Three days away from the season opener against Florida, and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham still isn’t saying who his starting quarterback will be Thursday night against the first SEC opponent to come to Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Cam Rising has been limited in training camp while coming back from an ACL injury, but was at the top of the depth chart released Friday. Bryson Barnes is the backup quarterback, while Nate Johnson is the third string coming out of training camp.
“Still unsure on some things,” Whittingham said Monday. “You got the depth chart, but it’s a challenge to have the depth chart a week out when you still have so many guys that are questionable and so we did the best we could with that. But a lot of that is still in flux.”
Does Whittingham know who is going to start at quarterback and just won’t announce it to the media
“I don’t know for positive right now, no, I can tell you that,” Whittingham said.”
Rising spoke to the media Monday night and said, “I’m feeling great. We’ll see.”
Last year before the Washington State game, Bryson Barnes found he would be the starter right before kickoff. Whittingham hopes that won’t be the situation this year.
“I don’t think it will be that dramatic and that much of a time crunch,”he said “But [Barnes] doesn’t know right now, because we don’t know. But we’re still three days out, and that’s a lot different than being 30 minutes out.”
If it’s not Cam Rising as the starter, it could be either Barnes or Nate Johnson, because they are neck and neck right now.
“Nate has really closed the gap,” Whittingham said. “You have to weigh everything. You’ve got Barnes who won the Washington State game and performed very well in the Ohio State game (in the Rose Bowl).”
But with Johnson’s speed and duel-threat ability, Whittingham said we should expect to see the sophomore in the game somewhere.
“Nate has down well in the limited reps that he’s got, but it hasn’t been extensive,” Whittingham said. “So there’s a lot of, I don’t want to say guess work, but you’ve got to project. But you will see Nate Johnson in this game no matter what happens. You’ll see Nate Johnson in this game.”
Utah and Florida will hit the field Thursday at 6:00 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.