Utah Utes football: Travis Wilson at home at the U.

Published: Thursday, July 21 2011 9:42 p.m. MDT

MALIBU, Calif. — San Clemente’s Travis Wilson will soon be a Utah Ute. Despite any familial or geographical ties to the program, he decided relatively early that Utah was the best place for him as a football player and as a student.

He didn’t decide on Utah without any other offers either, mind you. Schools such as UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Colorado had offers for him as well.

So why Utah?

“It just isn’t one thing about them,” he said. “It’s not something I was expecting when I visited there, to commit, but they really have everything I could ever want in a football program and in a school. It’s the perfect place for me.”

Wilson is participating in the Elite 11 camp held in Malibu, Calif., this week. While there, he’s performed very well and is expected to be ranked within the top 11 at week’s end.

The Elite 11 will mark the end of his camp attendance. He’ll then finish out his senior season, graduate early from high school and then join the Ute football program in time for spring camp.

While at Utah, he’ll be able to learn from one of the best teachers at the quarterback position, Norm Chow.

“I’m so excited for that,” said Wilson. “I love Norm Chow, and how he teaches. I can’t wait to learn more from him. It’s been great calling him and keeping in touch and letting him know how I’m doing here at the Elite 11.”

What Chow and the rest of the Ute coaching staff will be receiving in January of 2012 is one of the best QB prospects in the country.

“Travis has all the tools you could want,” said ESPN’s Greg Biggins. “He throws a very good deep ball, and he moves well. He has everything from an athletic standpoint that you could ask for, and I think he has a great career ahead of him.”

What stands out about Wilson at a glance is his imposing size. He’s not only tall, at 6-foot-6 and a half, but he’s well built for a 17-year-old.

But unlike many quarterbacks with his height, he’s hardly a stiff. During camp and on film he shows the type of mobility that could make for a Division 1 level defensive end or offensive tackle.

In fact, Wilson spent most of his Pop Warner years playing other positions before switching over to quarterback in the eighth grade. Through his experience at other positions, he’s developed a tough exterior that isn’t only willing to take a hit but dish one out as well.

This tough mentality is very noticeable when watching his game film. What is also easily ascertained is his ability to get the ball deep consistently and accurately to his receivers.

“I definitely pride myself in throwing a good deep ball,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve worked on, and I think it’s definitely one of my strengths.”

Like most athletes, it’s Wilson’s preference to play for the same coach over the span of his career. It’s one of the many reasons why he chose Utah, knowing how dedicated head coach Kyle Whittingham is to the Ute program.

In living in Southern California, he’s become keenly aware of how tenuous some coaching situations can be with what has gone on recently at UCLA, USC and at San Diego State.

“Having the same coaches for all four years is something that I want,” he said. “They’re a close family there, with Whittingham having been there for a long time. I know he’ll be there when my four years are up, along with the rest of the coaches.”

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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