SALT LAKE CITY — Just hours after Utah erased a 21-point deficit on the back of senior quarterback Drew Lisk for the team's final game of the season, the Utes picked up the commitment of another quarterback late Saturday night.
Ja'Quinden Jackson, a former four-star dual-threat quarterback that committed to Texas as part of the 2020 class, announced on Twitter his intent to transfer to Utah just before midnight Saturday. The Duncanville, Texas, native entered his name into the transfer portal on Dec. 15, a day before the NCAA's early signing day period, and quickly found a home at Utah.
On Sunday afternoon, 24 hours after the team's final game concluded, Utah added another quarterback in Baylor grad transfer Charlie Brewer.
Brewer, a senior grad transfer pro-style quarterback, committed to Baylor as part of the 2017 recruiting class. He played four seasons for the Bears and amassed 9,700 passing yards, including two seasons over 3,000 yards.
Although Brewer is a senior, he's able to take advantage of the NCAA's free year of eligibility due to the pandemic and will be able to play one season at Utah.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham made mention Thursday that Utah had not likely finalized its recruitment for the 2021 class and would look to the ever-changing transfer portal as a viable option to add more depth to its quarterback room, particularly if senior quarterback Jake Bentley chose to graduate instead of returning for another season due to amended NCAA rules as a result of the pandemic.
Cam Rising, another former four-star quarterback to transfer from Texas, was named the team's starter going into the season but suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the season against USC. Whittingham said Rising would be inactive for spring as he recovers, leaving recent signee and four-star quarterback commit Peter Costelli as the team's only scholarship quarterback to be fully active.
But Whittingham said he had a plan (and likely a multitude of backup plans) to help alleviate the lack of depth and competition at the position.
"I'm going to tell you there's a real likelihood that we'll continue to try to address that position," he said. "I think we'll be able to have a good situation by spring ball."
Whittingham did just that and secured one of the highest-rated quarterbacks currently in the transfer portal, according to 247 Sports.
Assuming Bentley moves on from the program following a rough outing against Washington State, in which he was replaced just before halftime with backup quarterback Lisk, Utah has three four-star quarterbacks now in its room to compete for the starting job in 2021. Jackson would still have to be ruled eligible to play next season, but recently discussed legislation from the NCAA could allow him immediate eligibility.
Jackson was previously recruited by Utah for its 2020 class, but ultimately selected hometown school Texas. But according to 247 Sports, Jackson developed a friendship with Utah's freshman phenomenon in running back Ty Jordan, a native of Mesquite, Texas, who previously committed to Texas before flipping his commitment to Utah.
Whittingham said Saturday the team will meet Tuesday to talk about the future and how athletes will handle their eligibility as a result of the free season. At that time, Whittingham said he expects to find out whether players will graduate from the program, transfer or pursue an NFL career.