It's going to be a battle this fall camp. Travis is No. 1. It's his job to lose, but Kendal is right there behind him. —Kyle Whittingham
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham opened the slate of Pac-12 coaches on television Friday morning at the conference's media days and reaffirmed a battle between quarterbacks heading into fall camp, which begins Thursday.
While senior quarterback Travis Wilson continues to be in the lead after finishing the season as the starting quarterback, fellow senior Kendal Thompson will also battle for the starting job.
"It's going to be a battle this fall camp," Whittingham said, during the Pac-12 Network broadcast. "Travis is No. 1. It's his job to lose, but Kendal is right there behind him and we have a promising young freshman Chase Hansen who is also in the mix."
Wilson played in 13 games last season, finishing with 2,170 yards passing, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions. He completed nearly 61 percent of his passes. Thompson played in seven games, completing 61.5 percent of his passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions before tearing his ACL in November. Wilson added 491 yards on 114 rushing attempts and five touchdowns, while Thompson ran for 273 yards on 56 carries and a touchdown.
"Travis really improved his game last year, in terms of interceptions," Whittingham said. "He finished the season exceptionally strong. He had a good spring football session. He's playing with confidence and poise, but the thing you have to remember is Kendal Thompson is still there giving him at that he can handle this fall camp. Kendal was not available in spring ball, he did a few things, but was not available in scrimmage and that kind of stuff."
Whittingham added that wide receivers will be likely the biggest questions heading into fall camp. With Dres Anderson and Kaelin Clay graduated, Whittingham said seniors Kenneth Scott and Tim Patrick will likely lead at that position, but it's unclear after that.
"We have four or five young guys that are going to have to step up and contribute," Whittingham said. "That is probably the biggest question mark on the team right now. Which of those receivers is going to step up and really do some things for us? Because if Devontae (Booker) is going to have the year we expect him to have, we've got to loosen up the defenses with the throw game."
Whittingham also acknowledged the coaches within the conference that said Utah was the most underrated school in the conference and one of the most feared places to play earlier this week.
"It's just a difficult place to play. The crowd is right on top of you," Whittingham said. "They're loud for the entire 60 minutes and of course you have the elevation, which is a little bit of a factor. We couldn't be more appreciative of our fans and the support they've given us in the last five or six years."