SALT LAKE CITY — Utah football's depth at running back has gotten a little smaller after two of its promising players declared their intent to transfer from the program Monday afternoon.
Junior Devin Brumfield and sophomore Jordan Wilmore took to Twitter about two hours apart and said their time at Utah is now over. Both wished the program well but said they are looking for an opportunity elsewhere.
"I want to thank you for the love and support that you've shown me over the last three years," Brumfield tweeted just before noon. "My experience here has been life-changing and I've grown as a player, leader, and as a man which I will forever be grateful for. Thank you to my brothers that I've built lifelong relationships with."
Brumfield thanked Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham for "believing in me and allowing me to play for such a phenomenal program," as well as running back coach Kiel McDonald for "helping me bring my game to a new level."
Wilmore, too, thanked Whittingham for "giving me the opportunity to come to this university" as well as McDonald and cornerback coach Sharrieff Shah for "everything."
"Utah man what a ride it was," Wilmore tweeted. "I enjoyed my experience here. The relationships that I made here will be with me forever."
The pair came into the season as the front-runners to replace all-time leading rusher Zack Moss, but freshman Ty Jordan exploded on the scene and quickly became the go-to running back. In his last two weeks of play the Texas native amassed back-to-back 100-yard rushing games as a freshman, as well as back-to-back Pac-12 freshman of the week honors.
Brumfield, a former three-star recruit, leaves the program with 390 rushing and 85 receiving yards and three touchdowns in three years of play; Wilmore, a former four-star recruit, leaves with 248 rushing and 13 receiving yards and one touchdown in two seasons.
The news comes just hours after Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in an interview with media that he hoped to keep all four of his running backs but "who knows if we'll be able to hang onto them all."
"When you have a freshman that rises up and does well, upperclassmen sometimes get the notion that they're not in the plans, so we'll see what happens with that position," he said. "But we like the position. We have four guys that we're confident in right now, and we'll just see what direction things go."
Whittingham said Jordan's "emergence" in the offense has given him the "lion's share of the work," but redshirt freshman Micah Bernard, who got in on some snaps Saturday, is "also doing some good things" and will be relied on as well.
Utah is also expected to sign three-star running back Ricky Parks, a 5-foot-10, 192-pound back from Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday when the NCAA's early signing period begins.