Quarterback questions arise from Ute's Red-White scrimmage



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(Photos: Courtesy Utefans.net)It's evident from watching Saturday's Red-White scrimmage that Utah may have more depth of talent than they have ever had. The success of 2 BCS Bowl wins in 5 years is paying off. The big question for Utah heading into fall camp is who will be this team's starting quarterback.

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This program learned 3 years ago how uncertainty at the Quarterback position can keep them from reaching their potential. That fall they went back and forth between Brett Ratliff and Tommy Grady while Brian Johnson redshirted after knee surgery. The back and forth between Ratliff and Grady became a distraction and led to struggles on the field. They don't want a similar situation in 2009.

So who should be the guy? Corbin Louks has the experience and has shown the ability to make plays but can he be effective and not turn the ball over as an every down signal caller? Terrance Cain put up big numbers in Junior College and looked capable in the spring but is he ready for the transition to big time college football in a new offense? Things got even more complex when a third quarterback performed well in the Red-White Scrimmage.

"I thought all three of the quarterbacks did a good job," said Whittingham. "They made good decisions. It's turned into a three-man race it looks like. Initially it was Corbin and Terrance, but Jordan Wynn has closed the gap considerably and I'd say right now he's a viable candidate for the job."

True Freshman Jordan Wynn is just 18 years old and 4 months removed from high school. Yet he was 8-of-13 for 158 yards and a touchdown. A number of his passes drew oohs and awes from the several thousand Ute fans on hand. His skill set and presence has Coach Whittingham comparing him to a Ute legend.

He's got a lot of Alex Smith in him as far as when Alex first got on campus," said Whittingham. "His demeanor, his poise, the way he carries himself is very much like what Alex was like at that same stage."

It may be best for the program and for Wynn to redshirt next season but the fact that Coach Whittingham would consider a true freshman to be the starting quarterback tells you how high they are on Jordan Wynn. If he continues to develop he is the future at the quarterback position.

Whoever starts at quarterback next fall will be surrounded by plenty of talent. Running backs Sausan Shakerin and Eddie Wide will back up Matt Asiata capably. The Utes have more depth at the receiver position than any other team in the MWC. The offensive line will be solid and if the defense can find able replacements for Paul Kruger and Sean Smith then the offense won't feel a lot of pressure to score points.

No one expects the Utes to duplicate 2008. But if they can solidify the quarterback position there is no reason they shouldn't be able to compete with TCU and BYU as they attempt to defend their conference title.

E-mail: jjensen@ksl.com

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Jeremiah Jensen Sports Reporter

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