The Emergence Of Ty Jordan Leads To Two Utah RB’s Entering Transfer Portal

Dec 14, 2020, 5:17 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2020, 8:48 am
Ty Jordan vs. Washington #2...
Utah Utes running back Ty Jordan (22) runs the ball during a PAC12 football game between the Utah Utes and the Washington Huskies on November 28, 2020, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In less than two hours, Utah football went from having four running backs in their rotation to just two.

Junior Devin Brumfield and sophomore Jordan Wilmore put both of their names in the NCAA transfer portal on Monday. Head coach Kyle Whittingham mentioned throughout camp that Wilmore, Brumfield, Micah Bernard and Ty Jordan would split carries going into the season.

Insert true freshman Ty Jordan.

In the season opener against USC, Jordan had 7 rushing attempts and a catch. Wilmore ran the ball 10 times, Brumfield had 5 touches and Bernard with one. Against Washington, Both Jordan and Brumfield had 10 carries each. Wilmore added 8 rushing attempts and Bernard with three. The true freshman also had 4 receptions and Brumfield caught three passes in their loss to the Huskies.

The last two weeks changed significantly as far as the workload. In Utah’s win over Oregon State, Jordan had 27 carries and two receptions. Brumfield added 6 rushing attempts, Bernard had 3 carries and one reception, while Wilmore didn’t play.

Last week against Colorado, Jordan ran the ball 17 times and had two catches. Bernard’s workload increased with 5 carries. Brumfield didn’t get any carries but did see the field, while Wilmore was on the sideline throughout.

Doing the math, here is the workload for the four running backs through four games this season:

  • Ty Jordan: 61 carries, 9 receptions
  • Devin Brumfield: 21 carries, 5 receptions
  • Jordan Wilmore: 18 carries, 0 receptions
  • Micah Bernard: 12 carries, 2 receptions

Why Two Guys Entered Portal

The big question now is why Wilmore and Brumfield entered the transfer portal? What ultimately made the decision for Brumfield and Wilmore was the last two games (just speculating). The workload that the junior and sophomore received against Oregon State and Colorado had them looking at the writing on the wall.

Seeing a running back emerge during the season as a true freshman and continually getting more snaps and carries as the season progresses, it’s disheartening for the upper classmen and the “veterans” of the group.

Going into the season, many (including myself) thought that it would be Devin Brumfield and Jordan Wilmore splitting the carries. Then in camp, Kyle Whittingham kept raving about how good this freshman Ty Jordan kid is and how he could work himself into the rotation.

Anyone who has followed Utah’s football program under Kyle Whittingham knows that they develop their players which takes time before they shine. This is the exception to that. Ty Jordan is a play now type of player. He has shown that over the last four games with his progression.

I don’t think anyone should blame Wilmore or Brumfield for leaving. They just want to play. Time in college football is precious (even with eligibility frozen this year) and those two just want to make the most of it and showcase their talent.

On Tuesday morning, Kyle Whittingham addressed the news of Wilmore and Brumfield entering the portal.

“They both decided that it was in their best interest to move on,” Whittingham stated. “They were great members of our program while they were here. Both were all in. Great teammates, great students. We wish them all the best.”

Help In The Backfield

Ty Jordan now becomes the full-time starter for the Utes at running back. Micah Bernard has played well lately which is why his workload has increased. But now that half of their original rotation is gone, who else can Utah turn to?

Charlie Vincent, Faysal Aden, Aaron Tapusoa and Elvis Vakapuna are the only available running backs on the roster. Utah has one game left and possibly two if they play a postseason game. Looking ahead to 2021, Utah is expected to sign three-star running back Ricky Parks from Tampa, Florida.

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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The Emergence Of Ty Jordan Leads To Two Utah RB’s Entering Transfer Portal