How much Will Wilson participate? He's been cleared for non-contact drills, but the junior to be wasn't going to take any hits anyways, even if he had been 100% healthy. Wilson is the most talented quarterback on the roster. As it stands, if healthy, he gives Utah the best chance to win in 2014. Whether or not he is mentally prepared to get back on the field, is the biggest question mark this spring at any position for the Utes.
Schulz did an admirable job filling in for Wilson as the starter at the end of 2013. His reward? A likely demotion to 3rd or 4th string by the time the 2014 season starts. Adam can wing it, but has issues with accuracy at times and doesn't fit the running needs that Utah hopes to have going forward.
Will we finally get to see what Cox can do? The redshirt freshman to be has been snakebit by injuries over the past two years, significantly hindering his development. Not an elite passer by any means, Cox needs to show that he's not afraid to wing the ball when needed and has improved his accuracy. Brandon does bring athleticism to the quarterback spot that no one else on the roster has now, and with Utah emphasizing an athletic quarterback going forward, that may be his calling card.
It has to be tough going from what looked like a co-starter spot heading into spring to 3rd or 4th string by the time fall camp starts. And that all happened in a 48 period with Travis Wilson being cleared and Kendall Thompson coming aboard. Manning has the tools to be a Pac 12 quarterback, but lacks the rushing ability that Utah wants out of their signal caller. The reps that he'll lose in spring now that Wilson is back hurts his development.
Thompson might be the biggest wildcard in all of this. The transfer from Wyoming is an athlete, but not much of a throwing quarterback. He could surprise some people, but a move to safety is the likely scenario. The sooner into spring that happens, the better.
Projected Depth Chart Heading Into Spring
Conner Manning or
What Has To Happen
The Travis Wilson situation needs to be settled. Utah can't afford to play the 'wait and see' game with Wilson's health and confidence. If he steps out there and looks lost, scared, or is downright awful, then the Utes need to look to the future, get the young guys (Cox, Manning) more snaps, and plan on Kendall Thompson being the starter heading into 2014. The younger guys need to continue to develop and a definitive quarterback hierarchy needs to be established so guys can transfer at the end of spring (if they choose) to open up roster spots.
Projected Depth Chart Coming Out of Spring
Adam Schulz or
Conner Manning or
Spring Preview: Quarterback
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