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Jason Shelley

Josh Furlong,, File

Former Utah QB Jason Shelley transfers to Utah State with 2 years of eligibility

By Sean Walker and Josh Furlong, | Updated - Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:52 a.m. | Posted - Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:33 a.m.

LOGAN — Jason Shelley's time as a potential signal caller for the University of Utah is officially over.

Utah State announced the addition of Shelley on Monday morning, welcoming the incoming junior to Gary Andersen's program with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound quarterback spent three seasons at Utah, including a redshirt in 2017. He finished with 1,428 yards of total offense for the Utes, including 1,205 passing yards in 19 games scattered over two seasons.

The Frisco, Texas native was the No. 12 dual-threat quarterback recruit by 247 Sports at Lone Star High School when he signed with the Utes following a senior seasons when he amassed 2,975 yards and 24 touchdowns, with another 629 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground.

Days after Utah finalized its 2020 recruiting class, Shelley entered his name in the transfer portal as he looked to be buried on the depth chart despite being with the program for three seasons.

“Thank you coaches for this opportunity to play for the University of Utah these last 3 seasons,” Shelley said in a tweet at the time. “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.”

In the lone week of Utah's spring football practices, Shelley was seen at the practices watching his former teammates on the field before the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports. Because Shelley announced his desire to enter the transfer portal after the semester started, he needed to finish some course work before he could officially transfer to another program.

Shelley became the star of the team his redshirt freshman season after he took over the starting duties from injured quarterback Tyler Huntley midway through the 2018 season against Arizona State. The team went on to lose its game against Arizona State, but Shelley led the Utes to its first-ever Pac-12 Championship game by winning the final three games of the regular season before losing to Washington in a 10-3 defensive battle.

When Shelley took over, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said he had "a lot of confidence in Jason." And that confidence helped Utah close out the regular season with a gutsy, come-from-behind victory in the last minutes of the game over rival BYU to give Utah its eighth-straight win over the Cougars. In that game, Shelley leaped over BYU's Keenan Ellis to secure a first down and keep Utah in the game.

The young quarterback at the time finished with 141 passing yards and one touchdown, but the highlight of the game was when Utah held a 1-point lead late in the game. Instead of wearing down the clock, Shelley saw an open field ahead of him and escaped for a 33-yard rushing touchdown to seal the comeback victory.

Shelley joins a quarterback room at Utah State looking to replace Jordan Love, a first-round NFL Draft selection by the Green Bay Packers. Henry Colombi, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound redshirt junior from Hollywood, Florida, was projected by most to take over the starting job in the Aggies’ backfield after throwing for 221 yards and two touchdowns in six games in 2019, in addition to 31 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.

Other quarterbacks on the roster include former Orem High standout Cooper Legas, a redshirt freshman; Andrew Peasley, a sophomore from La Grande, Oregon; and Josh Calvin, a redshirt freshman from Bellflower, California.

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Sean Walker
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