SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham released a comment Thursday afternoon on reports that freshman quarterback Jack Tuttle is transferring to another program. It was part of a university statement noting that Tuttle is no longer participating in team activities for reasons unrelated to academics or discipline.
“We wish Jack the best and have no further information to add at this time,” Whittingham said.
Tuttle has yet to publicly state his intentions.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound former four-star recruit, who received scholarship offers from major programs across the country, earned “Elite 11” status in 2017. He was the San Diego Section Player of the Year at Mission Hills High in San Marcos, California, and received the Silver Pigskin Award as the top player in San Diego County. Tuttle was a three-year starter at Mission Hills and finished his prep career with 7,179 yards passing and 69 touchdowns.
Tuttle committed to Utah early, more than a year before signing a letter of intent last December. At the time, Tuttle told the Deseret News that it was “really nice to make it official.”
He enrolled at the U. in January and participated in winter conditioning and then spring ball. Tuttle explained that it was important to do so in order to thoroughly understand the playbook, progressions and his teammates. He added that it also kind of got his feet wet in getting up to college speed and preparing him for anything he could do for the team.
Tuttle expressed a desire to “come in and compete my butt off” at Utah. He also had kind things to say about offensive coordinator Troy Taylor upon signing.
“Troy Taylor is a great football mind and great coach. I have so much respect for him and what he’s doing and what he plans to do at Utah,” Tuttle said. “I can’t wait to get working with him and play for him.”
Tuttle, though, wound up No. 3 on the depth chart when fall camp was completed, trailing junior starter Tyler Huntley and redshirt freshman Jason Shelley.
Through six games, Tuttle did not take a single snap for the Utes. However, he was the only freshman elected to the team’s leadership council.
UteZone.com, which confirmed Tuttle’s departure late Wednesday evening, listed Duke, Ohio State Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and West Virginia as possible destinations for Tuttle. San Diego State is another rumored destination.
“Certainly he is the highest rated quarterback that the Utes have signed, at least in the Kyle Whittingham era,” said recruiting expert Dan Sorensen, who is the publisher of UteZone. “He was a smart quarterback. He could make every throw that you wanted him to make. He was a really high-quality kid, a good leader and somebody that his teammates liked to be around and it made sense when he committed to Utah and he followed through with that commitment and signed.
“He was looking for an opportunity to play early and to get involved early and then get himself involved in the program," Sorensen continued. "He graduated early from high school and participated in spring football in order to do that.
“What we saw early in his career in practices was he had a lot of potential and those (recruiting) ratings were absolutely warranted. Now, unfortunately for Jack, he was not able to move up the depth chart.”
There was a really fierce position battle in camp, Sorensen added, and Shelley got the nod as the backup to Huntley.
“That happens. It’s football. But that doesn’t take anything away from Jack Tuttle,” Sorensen said. “I think it’s more a compliment to Jason Shelley and the fact that he came out and battled and won that backup job.”57 comments on this story
Tuttle, though, still has a lot of potential and is a talented quarterback. Sorensen predicts he will probably find success somewhere else down the line.
“So it’s up to Utah to continue to do what they’re doing and find a guy to replace him and I think the Utes are more than capable of doing that,” Sorensen said.
UteZone is reporting that Jayden Daniels, the nation’s No. 2-ranked dual-threat quarterback, is scheduled to make an official visit to Utah this weekend. The senior from Cajon High in San Bernardino, California, will reportedly attend Saturday’s game between the Utes and USC at Rice-Eccles Stadium.