Fall Camp Preview- Quarterback

Taking a look at the signal callers heading into fall camp

Five deep. That's how many scholarship quarterbacks the Utes will be rolling with heading into fall camp. Included in that mix is incumbent, sophomore Travis Wilson, backup Adam Schulz, and three freshmen in Micah Thomas, Brandon Cox, and Conner Manning. The positive? There's a lot of youth and room for all five to grow. The negative? There's a lot of youth and only one player who has taken meaningful snaps. The Utes are in a better situation at quarterback than they've been in a long time, but tons of questions still remain.

The Candidates

Travis Wilson (So)
This is Wilson's team now, and if the Utes are to return to the postseason, he'll have to have a big year. Learning from both Dennis Erickson and Brian Johnson, there's no reason to think that Wilson won't make huge strides after the struggles of his freshman year. Wilson has all the tools, from size, to arm strength, to smarts, to mobility, to be an All Pac 12 type of quarterback. We might be a year or two away from that happening, but 2013 needs to be a big year for Wilson. This team is going to go as far as he takes them, and with an improved offensive line and decent weapons, it's on Wilson to make it happen.

Adam Schulz (R-So)
Schulz earned himself a scholarship last season and enters 2013 is the likely backup to Wilson. There were times in spring ball that the sophomore looked better than Wilson, but Schulz lacked consistency and was unable to put together complete practices or scrimmages. He's got a big arm, but lacks ideal size and doesn't run very well. Whittingham continues to insist that the QB competition is open, but the reality is that the real competition is for the backup spot. Whether or not Schulz can hold on to that in the fall will be interesting to watch.

Brandon Cox (Fr)
Cox enrolled at Utah early to participate in spring ball, but missed the second half after suffering and injury. He should be back to full strength by fall, but after missing his senior year with an injury, there may be some concern about his ability to stay healthy. Cox is probably the most dynamic quarterback on the roster, and the coaches would love to be able to use him in 2013 as a change of pace QB who can run the ball. He's one of the fastest players on the team, but still needs work throwing the ball. If Cox can stay healthy, and with him already having been on campus for some time, he's the most likely to push Schulz for the backup spot.

Micah Thomas (Fr)
Thomas is maybe the biggest enigma of the entire group. A tremendous athlete and smart kid, he was dominant in the Houston area last season. People seem to be split on what he's going to do at Utah, with some thinking he'll be an impact guy, while others believe he's destined for another position. Regardless of where he ends up eventually, Thomas is going to start at QB, and will try to push for the backup spot, or, using his athleticism, a package that allows him to showcase his speed.

Conner Manning (Fr)
Manning is the final incoming freshman. A definitive pocket passer, he broke all kinds of state and Orange County. Manning might be the most polished of the freshman, has a quick release and is advanced in his ability to make reads. Not the biggest arm, but that isn't a necessity in this offense. While Manning isn't likely to push for playing time in 2013, he'll add needed depth and be a guy that will be a huge asset to the scout team this year.

Projected Post Fall Depth Chart
1. Wilson
2. Schulz or
Cox
4. Manning or
Thomas

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