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Utah Football Putting All Eggs In Costelli Basket

Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham walks the sidelines after a Utah score as Utah and UCLA play a college football game in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Football never publicly offered former four-star Corner Canyon quarterback Jaxson Dart, rather, opted to put all of their trust in California product Peter Costelli.

If Costelli works out and wins the starting job at some point in his Utah career then the conversation will never occur.

But, if Costelli struggles and does eventuate in the manner that the coaches had hoped for, a serious question must be asked regarding the evaluation and scouting process for Utah quarterbacks.

Jack Tuttle was the next great quarterback for Utah, or at least, that was the hope. Tuttle never came close to seeing the field at Utah, he threw more interceptions in practice than any other quarterback and was still clearly in need of some tender love and development.

The Utes never offered Zach Wilson because they were relying on Tuttle to provide for them. Wilson grew up a Utah fan and frequented Rice Eccles Stadium often growing up.

Utah did not evaluate the quarterback position accurately in 2016-17, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Fast forward to today and Utah has put itself in the same position it did in 2016. All of their eggs are in one basket.

The issue isn’t that Wilson or Dart didn’t sign with Utah. The issue lies with the fact that Utah never publicly offered them. Wilson is now one of the top quarterback targets entering the 2021 NFL Draft while Tuttle is fighting for playing time at the University of Indiana. Yet, Wilson was never offered a scholarship to play at Utah despite growing up a fan and being in their backyard. How strange.

Tom Hackett and Steve Bartle spoke on the subject during a recent episode of the It’s Utah’s World podcast.

“Utah is playing a risky game,” Hackett said. “I agree, but they have to keep trusting their evaluation process,” Bartle responded.

Hackett and Bartle continued to discuss reasons why Utah is only offering one four star quarterback any given recruiting cycle.

Bartle admits that Utah is not known as a quarterback school and therefore does not have the leeway other schools such as USC or Oregon may have. While Hackett disagreed by stating that Utah needs to act like they are a quarterback school even if they know that they are not.

If Utah is concerned that their main quarterback target may get upset with the program offering other quarterbacks then the chances of that quarterback working out at Utah is slim.

The second a newcomer steps foot on Utah’s campus after signing they are immediately competing with other players at their position. Utah needs a quarterback who is ready for competition and willing to fight every day for his spot on the team.