Candidates: Jordan Wynn, Jon Hays, Chase Hansen, and Travis Wilson
Favorite: Jordan Wynn
Dark Horse: Chase Hansen
Winner: Jordan Wynn
Much like the quarterback battle heading into last year's spring camp, this year's starter is already known before camp has even started. Jordan Wynn was lost early last season to a shoulder injury, the second serious shoulder injury of his career, but he never lost the title of Utah's top signal-caller. That means this spring's major battle will be for the #2 spot – a battle that won't be won this spring or summer but will almost certainly carry on into the fall.
Although backup Jon Hays took a lot of heat last year for his tough-on-the-eyes play, he was 6-3 as a starter and led the Utes to some impressive wins both in-conference and in the Sun Bowl.
The race for the backup position is wide open, but Hays definitely has the edge. His understanding of the Ute coaches, his relationship with his teammates, and his experience against the conference's competition make him my odds-on favorite to win the back-up job.
Chase Hansen and Travis Wilson enter spring camp with a clean slate. Both were highly-touted high school players and both have plenty of skills that fans can't wait to see more of. But will that raw, God-given talent be enough for one of them to rise up the depth chart to challenge Hays or even Wynn for playing time? Only time will tell.
I expect Hansen to come out with a competitive attitude that will immediately set him apart from the other quarterbacks. He showed his toughness and determination to win at all costs throughout high school and I don't expect that competitiveness to be left behind. He's built to run a spread offense, so the return to the scheme under new Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson should play right into his strengths.
So where does that put Travis Wilson? Don't rule him out – although he comes in as a little more of an unknown, he definitely showed he has the tools to be a great quarterback and will push both Hansen and Hays throughout spring ball. He may have the highest potential of any quarterback currently on the Utah roster.
Spring Position Battles - Quarterbacks
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