UTAH UTES

Former Utah Football Players, Coaches Making Jump From College To NFL

Feb 4, 2021, 10:10 PM
Urban Meyer, Brian Johnson, Quinton Ganther - Utah Utes...
(Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Deseret News)
(Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah football players and coaches have made the jump from the college ranks to the NFL, particularly in the last month.

In less than one month, three individuals have accepted positions as coaches in the NFL. It started with Urban Meyer coming out of retirement and becoming the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then former Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson took a job as the quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Most recently, former Utah running back and Weber State RB’s coach Quinton Ganther accepted a position as an offensive assistant on Urban Meyer’s staff with the Jaguars.

It should be a great accomplishment for the Utah football program to see these three individuals make the jump from coaching and playing in college to going to the NFL and getting their first taste of the league as coaches.

Former Utah Head Coach Urban Meyer Making Jump To NFL

After spending the last two seasons as the lead analyst for FOX College Football, Urban Meyer decided to get back into coaching. This time he wanted to try his hand at being a head coach for an NFL franchise. Not only that, but taking over a team that recorded just one win during the 2020 season. With the No. 1 overall pick in hand for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, Meyer has all the tools to turn around the Jaguars franchise.

In two seasons at Utah, Meyer led the Utes to a 22-2 record with two conference titles and a Fiesta Bowl win over Pittsburgh to cap off an undefeated season in 2004. They became the first non-BCS school to win a BCS bowl game.

The Jaguars officially announced Meyer as their head coach on January 14.

Former Utah Quarterback Brian Johnson

Johnson had a legendary career as the quarterback for the Utes. He led the team to an undefeated season in 2008 and a win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. After his successful college career, Johnson went on to coach at Utah from 2010-13, where he was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Then he went to the SEC to join Dan Mullen at Mississippi State as the QB coach. After his time in Starkville, Johnson went to Houston as the OC for one season.

When Dan Mullen took over as head coach of Florida, he brought Johnson with him to coach the quarterbacks. In 2020, Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator, becoming the first Black OC in Florida football history.

Now Johnson will head to Philadelphia to coach the quarterbacks which includes Jalen Hurts and Carson Wentz.

Former Utah Running Back Quinton Ganther

Ganther had a successful two seasons as the running back for the Utes in 2004 and 2005. After five years in the NFL, Ganther returned to Utah to finish his degree and was a student assistant coach under Jay Hill, who coached the running backs at Utah in 2012. When Hill became the head coach of Weber State in 2013, Ganther was one of his first hires to coach his running backs.

Weber State has been a national championship contender with a big part coming from their production at the running back position. Ganther has coached six running backs that have either earned all-conference or All-American honors.

Now Ganther will join his head coach from his college days as the Bay Area native will make the jump from Weber State to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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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Former Utah Football Players, Coaches Making Jump From College To NFL