Currently there are four schools that are either in a full blown quarterback battle or a quasi-battle that the coaches are urging for competition. The biggest battle is taking place at the University of Utah who is trying to replace Brian Johnson has the most wins in school history. The three culprits for the job are true freshman Jordan Wynn, junior college transfer Terrance Cain, and junior Corbin Louks.
This list is in no particular order in breaking down the position. Thursday is the day of the first scrimmage and after that the QB battle will be down to two. That practice is also being closed to media with the exception of the last forty-five minutes, where nothing significant will happen.
1. Corbin Louks: He was thought to be the front runner after playing the change of pace quarterback the past two years, but he was unable to do so in the spring. His experience and familiarity in the system gives him an edge against the other two, but by now both challengers have had a full spring, summer, and now a fall camp to get used to the playbook.
With the Utes going back to the true spread that Utah ran in 2003 and 2004 which requires the quarterback to run the ball in the option and Louks is close to being the fastest player on the team, and could benefit with the move back to a more run oriented offense with the quarterback.
So, far in practice Louks has been inconsistent when throwing ball -- which is what everyone has been wondering -- but has made some big plays. Expect Louks to make the cut after tomorrow's scrimmage.
2. Terrance Cain: The 2009 junior college player of the year, a four star recruit, and the top quarterback from the junior college ranks. Cain enrolled in January and while he is not the speedster as Louks he is mobile and is able to move the pocket and take off needed. Lately my opinion was that it was Louks job to lose but with the race three deep and why would the Utah staff bring in an All-American JUCO player if they are not going to play.
If Cain does not start or get significant time --if for some reason the Utes rotate-- this could hurt recruiting highly touted high school and junior college players. Why would a player who is highly rated from a junior college and typically two years of eligibility want to come and sit on the bench.
So far in early practices, Cain has made the least mistakes -- which will determine the starter-- in camp, however in saying that Cain has been predominately making the short and intermediate throws. In my opinion Cain will make the cut to the final two, and is the leader so far mainly because he has been the most consistent in camp.
3. Jordan Wynn; The wildcard who no one thought would still be in the mix in fall camp. Wynn was rated as one of the best pro style quarterbacks, but to a surprise to the staff has more speed then they thought. The main concern when he enrolled in January was his weight which was in the 150 range, but since he stepped on campus to the weigh in on opening day of camp he is at 195. The weight gain certainly puts him back in the race because being under 160 in this offense could easily get him snapped in half. The key to his weight was his crazy diet where he is consuming 10,000 calories a day.
Wynn should redshirt in my opinion, backup next year and then start for three years that would be the best plan for Utah to succeed. However, in the mind of the coaches if he is the best player how can you sit him, and possibly risk him transfer; Wynn did decommit from Colorado and changed to Utah.
In practice he as the others have practiced with all three groups of offense, and has been showing promise and is doing everything he can to stay in the race to start as a true freshman. My gut feeling is that he will be redshirted, because even if he is considered the number two and with the race is so close why 'waste' a year of eligibility for a player who has the chance to be a star for the program. Besides if all three are as close as they are made to seem it would be the smart choice to redshirt Wynn in 2009.