Utah Utes football: Team opens spring practices with strong QBs
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah opened spring practices Tuesday with a definite pecking order at quarterback. Poinsettia Bowl MVP Jordan Wynn is No. 1, while former starter Terrance Cain mans the No. 2 spot.
"We've got a competitive group that's experienced and has played some football for us," said first-year quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson. "It's nice at that position when you have multiple guys that have won games for us. We're fortunate to have that."
The Utes, he added, are also fortunate to have a player like redshirt freshman Griff Robles around to head the quarterback run game.
"I'm really excited about the group that we have," said Johnson, who quarterbacked Utah past Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in January of 2009. "I'm definitely looking forward to working with those guys."
Head coach Kyle Whittingham is equally optimistic. He had positive things to say about all three quarterbacks.
"We're excited about how Jordan finished up," Whittingham said about the sophomore, who started the final six games last season — capping things off with player of the game honors in the bowl win over California.
"He's always been a really good quarterback. He's had the confidence, the character and the charisma to play that position at a high level," Johnson said. "Now I think he's at the point where experience will take over. He can process more. He just continues to improve and get better."
Johnson expects Wynn to keep getting pushed by Cain.
"Something we always want to do here is breed competition," he said. "It brings the best out of everybody involved. The more people we have competing everyday, going out there and trying to get better, I think, the better off we'll be."
Cain, who was 7-1 as Utah's starter last season, will provide more than adequate competition for Wynn.
"He's going to go out there and compete like he always has," Johnson said.
And now both quarterbacks have major college football experience, something both lacked at this time last year.
"Terrance is doing a nice job," Whittingham said. "He's had a good offseason and is working extremely hard. And he's got a great attitude."
Same goes for Robles, who has embraced a role that could blossom into a package of plays this season.
Specifically, a change-up quarterback.
"What Griff brings to the table at this point and time — we're hoping — is the same thing that Corbin Louks brought to us in '08," Whittingham said.
EXTRA POINTS: Spring ball opened at the Spence Eccles Field House because of rainy, cool conditions outside . . . Sophomore Victor Spikes has changed positions, going from to safety to running back . . . The Utes resume practice on Thursday with another two-hour session without pads . . . ESPN.com has an update on Ute recruit Tyler Shreve, who has been charged with misdemeanor battery after an altercation with his high school baseball coach.
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