By Andrew Gorringe
The Utes picked up a vital commitment for their 2017 recruiting class on Sunday afternoon, as 3 star QB Jason Shelley ended his recruitment by committing to the Utes. Shelley visited Utah last weekend, and followed that with a visit to Southern Mississippi, but felt his place to be was in Salt Lake City.
On the field, Shelley accumulated a total of 5,377 yards (3,771 passing; 1,661 rushing) and 60 TD’s as a junior in high school. He has run one of the most prolific offenses in the state of Texas the past two seasons, and there’s no reason why he won’t improve upon those numbers as a senior.
Shelley was initially rated a 4 star after his sophomore season, but with the emergence of other QB’s across the country, and concerns over Shelley’s size (5’11-170lbs), he currently sits as the 33rd ranked QB in the country according to Scout.com
When you watch Shelley’s film, all 12 minutes of it, it’s clear that the Utes have gotten a true playmaker. Shelley can make things happen with his arm and his feet, but truly does the bulk of his playmaking from the pocket. He has smooth and relaxed feet in the pocket, and his throwing mechanics are very natural.
When the pocket breaks down, or nobody is open downfield, Shelley is very dangerous. He has elite agility and elusiveness for a QB, and has the speed to pull away from defenders in the open field.
What Shelley will have to work on first and foremost to become a starting QB at Utah is his size. While there’s not much he can do about his height, he can put in work at the gym to put on muscle and mass, in order to sustain the punishing nature of college football. We’re seeing more and more QB’s under the 6’0 height mark be successful in college football, with Vernon Adams at Oregon being the latest example. It’s no longer a requirement to be 6’2 or taller as a QB to be successful, and there’s no reason to think Shelley won’t be a future starting QB because of his size.
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Expect to see Shelley put up more ridiculous numbers as a senior this season, and then join the Utes in 2017. He has all the tools to become a big time player for Utah in the future.