Kyle Whittingham Has High Praise For Freshman Quarterback Nate Johnson After Arizona Game

Nov 6, 2022, 1:41 AM
Whittingham discusses what his team can take away from their lopsided win over the Thunderbirds. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Bodkin)
(Photo courtesy of Michelle Bodkin)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah was bullish about several players in their 2022 signing class and fans have had an opportunity to see what several of them can do already. Linebacker Lander Barton and running back Jaylon Glover have shown well in early snaps. However, Ute fans got their first, tiny taste of freshman quarterback Nate Johnson against Arizona Saturday night and he just scratched the surface according to Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Johnson wasn’t asked to do a lot for Utah against the Wildcats. He never threw the ball, and only had three carries for 23 yards. Two of Johnson’s three carries went for touchdowns though and he showed off particularly great speed that Whittingham singled out as one of Johnson’s biggest strengths.

Kyle Whittingham On Nate Johnson

Utah needed a spark with several running backs banged up and tight end Dalton Kincaid sitting out Saturday night. Johnson ended up being just the ticket with the Utes using his track speed to their advantage in some wildcat-type packages.

“You saw how fast he is,” Whittingham said. “He is the fastest kid on the team as far as what he did on the track when he was in high school. He’s got blazing speed. I think you saw that manifest tonight.”

While the little morsel of what Johson can do with his feet was good to see against Arizona and something Whittingham says could be seen again in future 2022 games, it only scratched the surface of Johnson’s talent. Whittingham noted that Johnson can also throw the ball really well and there is no limit to what his future could be with the Utes at the quarterback position.

“Nate has a ton of potential,” Whittingham said of his young quarterback. “He’s got a high ceiling. He also throws the ball very well. We see it in practice every day- you guys haven’t seen that yet, but he’s got a very high ceiling.”


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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