SALT LAKE CITY — Just days after Utah finalized its 2020 recruiting class, redshirt sophomore Jason Shelley announced he has entered his name into the transfer portal and will be leaving the University of Utah.
The quarterback turned safety said he spent a lot of time “praying and talking with my family” and decided to leave the program after three seasons. Prior to Utah’s Alamo Bowl matchup with Texas, Shelley switched to the defensive side of the ball at safety, where he got playing time on two snaps.
“Thank you coaches for this opportunity to play for the University of Utah these last 3 seasons,” Shelley said in a tweet. “I am very grateful for all my teammates/brothers that I have made throughout the years. Lastly, thank you Salt Lake City along with Ute Nation for all the great memories and experiences. However, I believe that God has a plan for everyone, and I am moving onto the new chapter in my life. Forever All Love.”
Shelley, who was known as one of the best team players in the locker room, leaves after three seasons with the Utes. The multi-talented athlete filled in for quarterback Tyler Huntley in 2018 when he sustained a season-ending shoulder injury. Shelley led Utah to its first-ever Pac-12 South Division title.
The Houston, Texas, native leaves the program throwing for 1,205 passing yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. He finished with a 58.1% completion percentage, with the bulk of his production coming his redshirt freshman season. In 2019, Shelley was used primarily in QB-run plays in offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig’s system.
On Wednesday at a press conference following Utah’s signing of five additional athletes to its incoming recruiting class, head coach Kyle Whittingham said Shelley was staying with safeties.
In Shelley’s absence, Utah will be limited in experience in the secondary after its starting unit either graduated or left early to pursue an NFL career. Shelley had limited experience on the defensive side of the ball, but added depth to an already depleted unit.
A Utah Man Am I ❤️ 4L 🤞🏾 pic.twitter.com/9XltOKwh1O— Mr. StopPlayinWithMe (@jason15shelley) February 7, 2020