Utah football: Quarterback Jon Hays is primed to make his first start for Utes
"I think they're both great quarterbacks," he said. "I think Jordan is a phenomenal leader. He's a tremendous worker. I think Jon shares similar attributes."
Hays took a less conventional path to Utah. After quarterbacking California's Butte College to a 9-2 record and a bowl victory, he signed with Nebraska-Omaha. The Division II program, though, opted to drop football last spring — leaving Hays on the outside looking in. The Utes, meanwhile, lost a couple of quarterback recruiting battles down the stretch and decided to move Robles to linebacker.
The two sides eventually came together. Whittingham and his staff have a good relationship with the Butte program, which sent Brett Ratliff to Utah and includes Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers amongst its alumni.
Hays joined the Utes in time for summer conditioning, where Wynn helped bring him up to speed.
"Jordan is a great guy and he's been great ever since I got here," Hays said during camp.
Although excited to join the Pac-12 program, Hays admitted it was initially frustrating because he got a little overwhelmed. While learning the offense, he was thinking more than reacting.
"I've just got to keep working hard and get things done when I need to," Hays said. "That's how I've got to approach it, with my work ethic and in the film room and doing everything right off the field. So that when I get on the field, my teammates can trust me."
True freshman Tyler Shreve, who the Utes had hoped to redshirt this season, is slated to be Hays' backup.
Arizona State (4-1, 2-0) at Utah (2-2, 0-2)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Radio: 700 AM
- Already impressing: Utah Jazz rookie Dante...
- Mired in 3-game losing streak, BYU preparing...
- Midseason recap and awards for BYU and Utah
- Amy Donaldson: Not deciding on a starting...
- Utah Jazz give key starters a break in 98-91...
- Booker-ing ram and broken dreams: Midseason...
- Utes continue Pac-12 'meat grinder' with...
- Sunday morning quarterback: Stars and stats...
- Utes top Oregon State in double overtime 114
- Nevada rallies to beat BYU, 42-35 68
- Dick Harmon: BYU amasses yards but... 49
- Mired in 3-game losing streak, BYU... 46
- FBS football coaches vote BYU most... 32
- Peavler: Penalties out of control at BYU 28
- Brad Rock: Utes have their star in... 27
- College football: Utah rises to No. 19... 25