By Andrew Gorringe
Utah desperately needed a junior college transfer quarterback in the 2016 class, and they got their (likely) future signal caller in Santa Monica College quarterback Troy Williams. Williams was of course rated the #1 dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in 2013, and spent two years at the University of Washington. Ultimately, Williams decided to transfer after a new head coach and staff was brought in at Washington, and he spent one year at Santa Monica College. Williams held offers from Utah and UAB at the time he committed to the Utes, and his desire to play again in the PAC 12 played a big part in his decision.
Coming out of high school most scouts talked about Williams’ ability to run the ball and extend plays with his feet. Those qualities are still very prevalent in Williams’ game today, but are no longer the most impressive attribute he has. Williams’ accuracy is the first thing that stands out about him, as he completed 68% of passes at Santa Monica, and also had 7.75 to 1 TD:INT ratio, throwing for 31 TD’s and just 4 INT’ on the season. In fact, Williams ran with the ball very little during this last season at Santa Monica, as he only totaled 45 rushing attempts on the season, but was very effective when he did, as he rushed for 7 TD’s. With Utah’s recent emphasis being put on quarterbacks that can make plays with their feet, Williams fits everything that the staff looks for in a quarterback. Williams’ ability to accurately distribute the football and also make plays with his feet, combined with his prior experience within a PAC 12 program, gives him a leg up on the rest of the quarterback competition this spring and fall. Him being enrolled for the spring semester will give him plenty of time to learn the offense and start building a rapport with the group of receivers as well.
He is already enrolled at Utah and will have 2 years to play 2, as a redshirt junior. Williams is widely considered the favorite to win the starting job for the 2016 season, and if he can duplicate the kind of numbers he put at Santa Monica College, Utah will win a lot of football games.