Eric Weddle Kept Close Tabs On 2008 Utah Football Team By Texting QB Brian Johnson

May 4, 2020, 5:19 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm

(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)...

(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Two years into Utah All-American defensive back Eric Weddle’s NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, he was still keeping close tabs on his alma mater and followed the 2008 Utah football team closely.

Particularly with quarterback Brian Johnson.

Weddle told the story during “The Great Ute Debate: ’04 vs. ’08” on Thursday when he was on with fellow 2004 teammate Quinton Ganther, Johnson and 2008 Utah linebacker Stevenson Sylvester.

The former Utah defensive back was in his second season with the San Diego Chargers after being taken in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft when he remained in touch with Johnson throughout the Utes’ second historic season where they went undefeated and busted the BCS.

The Great Ute Debate

Utah Football 2004 v. 2008 Eric Weddle, Stevenson Sylvester, Quinton Ganther and Brian Johnson are here to debate the greatest Utah Football team of all time.

Posted by KSL Sports on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Texting Brian Johnson

Weddle kept close tabs on the 2008 Utes by texting nearly every play of every game to Johnson during the season.

“Every Utah game, I would text BJ (Brian Johnson) play-by-play,” Weddle said. “It was every play whether it was good or bad I would give him my opinion on what we were doing, the calls, what are we thinking and halftime adjustments. Literally after every game he would text me back and would go through the majority of the texts.”

Weddle developed a strong bond with his college teammates and noted that it’s different in the NFL. He played with Johnson from 2004 to 2006.

“That was the highlight of my season in the NFL because the season in the NFL is just different,” Weddle stated. “You get some great things out of it but it’s nothing like the relationships you have in college so I still felt like I was a part of that team and I felt like I was in the moment with BJ.”

Staying Close To Utah Football Team

Johnson threw for 2,972 yards, 27 touchdowns and 9 interceptions during the 2008 season and was named Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Sugar Bowl MVP. He still remembers all of the texts from Weddle.

“I would get back after a game to 200 text messages all from Eric,” Johnson added.

The friendship that still stands today was the reason why Weddle felt so close. It’s something that Utah football centers their culture around which is a family environment.

“It was a fun year to follow and to be intimate with that team and still be close,” said Weddle. “This is what the Utah family is. I think it gets brushed aside a lot of times when guys are going through school is that this school can bring a lot more than what you do on the playing field.”

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Eric Weddle Kept Close Tabs On 2008 Utah Football Team By Texting QB Brian Johnson