The Utah Utes were happy to get the news that quarterback Travis Wilson was cleared to return for non-contact drills this spring after a concussion revealed a pre-existing condition that threatened his football career. But this is just the first hurdle for Wilson to return to the starting lineup in 2014. While Wilson is penciled in as the projected starter, Utah added some security to their quarterback situation with the transfer of Kendal Thompson.
Thompson chose to leave the Oklahoma Sooners this offseason after Trevor Knight distinguished himself as the No. 1 quarterback last season with a breakout performance in the Sugar Bowl. The redshirt sophomore fractured his foot prior to the 2013 season and saw minimal playing time behind Knight and Blake Bell. He appeared in just two games last season, completing 4-of-13 passes for 64 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He joins a Utah team that finished near the bottom of the Pac-12 in passing last season and looking for improvement on the offensive side of the ball in 2014.
While Thompson does not bring a wealth of experience with him in 2014, he does provide some much-needed security for the Utes at quarterback next season. Wilson is not a sure-thing to come back next season or to stay healthy and having another playmaker who can step in and play quarterback will be huge for the Utah offense if things don’t go according to plan. Thompson has the skillset to be a very good quarterback though he didn’t get much of an opportunity to showcase that with the Sooners.
Utah will be hoping that Wilson comes back healthy next fall and steps right back into his role as one of the better young quarterbacks in the conference. If he can’t, however, having Thompson will provide a much-needed security blanket for the 2014 season.