SALT LAKE CITY — Utah football's wide receiver corps lost a veteran player Tuesday as junior Bryan Thompson entered his name into the NCAA's transfer portal.
The news of Thompson's intent to transfer was first reported by Steve Bartle of 247Sports and was later confirmed to KSL.com.
Thompson, a native of Moreno Valley, California, was seen as a deep-threat target for the Utes, but only had nine receptions for 187 yards and one touchdown in five games for Utah last season; however, he averaged 20.8 yards per catch last season to lead the team. In total, Thompson leaves the university with 33 receptions for 756 yards and four touchdowns after injuries complicated his playing time.
Ahead of an unusual 2020 season, Thompson worked to change his eating habits and conditioned himself to have a breakout season. Despite his ability to get the deep ball, Thompson was often overshadowed by receiver Britain Covey and tight end Brant Kuithe in the passing game. Inconsistent play at quarterback also contributed to the fact that Thompson's targets were limited.
Thompson becomes the seventh player to transfer from the university, though he remains in school until the semester concludes.
In his absence, Utah has several options to replace him, including Solomon Enis, who had 11 catches for 108 yards last season, Samson Nacua and freshman Devaugn Vele, among others, though none with as much experience as Thompson. Utah has relied heavily as of late on its tight end to contribute to the receiving game and will have juniors Cole Fotheringham and Dalton Kincaid to add to the mix with Kuithe.
The news comes a day before the NCAA's National Signing Day period, though Utah is not expected to sign anyone to its 2021 recruiting class Wednesday after securing its class in December.