As the only candidate with NCAA experience and extensive time in the University of Utah football program, Friday's quarterback announcement didn't sit too well with junior Corbin Louks.
"I was definitely caught off-guard by it. I wasn't expecting it," Louks said. "But I've got to do what I can to keep fighting, keep working hard and helping out the team."
Last season's back-up to Sugar Bowl MVP Brian Johnson believes he can reclaim the top spot of the depth chart if he works hard.
"But we'll see what happens," Louks said. "The biggest thing, probably, with them (the coaches), is they think I'm too risky or something like that."
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, whose depth chart at quarterback is led by freshman Jordan Wynn and then junior Terrance Cain, insists a starter has yet to be named for 2009. The competition, he explained, is performance-based and subject to constant change.
"Always a chance," Whittingham said. "Never say never. There's always a chance."
Reps with the first string (approximately 85-90 percent), however, will primarily go to Wynn. Cain is expected to take a majority of the rest.
"I've got to see how things work out. I definitely wasn't prepared for this. So we'll see what happens," Louks said before being asked if there's a chance he'll transfer and not play for the Utes this season. "I have no idea. Like I've said, this is shocking news to me."
Louks plans to talk with his family and the coaches while pondering his next move.
"I'm not dead-set on anything right now," he said. "I've got to take time, work hard and see how this plays out."
Louks, who has 4.42 speed in the 40, is still in Utah's plans. He was the central part of a series of plays last season, including one that led to a 69-yard touchdown run against Colorado State.
"That package is still something that we plan on using," Whittingham said. "But you never know how things will shake out. We're still just under three weeks away, so a lot of things can transpire between now and Sept. 3."
Perhaps a position change is possible for Louks.
"He is a tremendous athlete. There are four or five positions he can play on this team," Whittingham said. "If it doesn't work out at quarterback, he could play wideout, he could play running back, he could play safety, he could play corner.
"So there may be some discussion later on utilizing him in some other roles. We'll see how that kind of unfolds."
And there's another option, as well.
"He does have a redshirt year, and that may be talked about in a couple of weeks. It's too early to talk about that right now," Whittingham said. "But that is certainly there. It's an option."
Decisions on redshirts, he explained, won't be made until about a week before the first game.
SUDDEN IMPACT: Freshman quarterback Griff Robles made quite an impression in his first scrimmage with the Utes. After throwing an interception, the former Spanish Fork star leveled linebacker Thor Salanoa with a hard tackle. So hard, in fact, that Salanoa will be sidelined for 12 weeks with a shoulder injury.
Robles continued to show his toughness with a circle drill victory.
"He's a tough guy," Whittingham said.
DEPTH AT CORNERBACK: Junior Lamar Chapman and senior Justin Jones are the leading candidates to become Utah's third and fourth corners.
Whittingham said converted wide receiver Ryan Lacy, a redshirt freshman, is also challenging for playing time.45 comments on this story
EXTRAPOINTS: Whittingham said junior Eddie Wide is solidifying himself as the No. 2 running back behind Matt Asiata. Redshirt freshman Sausan Shakerin is a close third, and senior Ray Stowers is also in the mix ... Junior Walter Watts and redshirt freshman Tevita Stevens are still battling for the starting job at right guard and may end up sharing the job in a rotation ... Senior Ben Vroman continues to have a good camp. He's in position to handle both kickoffs and place-kicking duties this season.