UTAH UTES

Cam Rising Talks Journey To Utah, Brotherhood

Dec 30, 2022, 11:19 AM | Updated: 11:27 am
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Cameron Rising #7 of the Utah Utes looks to throw a pass against the USC Trojans during the second quarter in the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES- Thinking about Utah quarterback Cam Rising being anywhere but with the Utes is hard to fathom. The team and the quarterback seem so sympatico that a world where they aren’t together doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, without a little fate and maybe some “unwavering belief” Rising very well may have never been a Ute.

 

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The talented quarterback who embodies everything there is to like about Utah football was approached by the team during his high school recruitment, but the conversation didn’t go much further than that.

“When they came, I was committed to Oklahoma,” Rising said. “They also had Jack Tuttle. I was just thinking I probably shouldn’t waste coach Harding’s time when he came to campus. There wasn’t any real rhyme or reason to me so I kind of just blew it off and a few years later we ended up talking about it and it was fun. He still gives me a hard time about it today, but it was good and after that it was a wild ride. Just had to ride the wave and enjoy my time doing it.”

Rising And Utah: Wrong Time, Right Fit

Rising ultimately ended up at Texas after his commitment to Oklahoma, but his time with the Longhorns didn’t quite work out how he had hoped so Rising entered the transfer portal in 2019. Ironically enough, the team he initially turned down in high school would be the place with the right fit for him.

“Just going on campus and seeing the team and seeing how guys interacted,” Rising said. “Seeing the coaches- knowing that coach Whitt is always going to pretty much be in place as the head man. It gives you a whole lot of confidence going there. I knew it was a good situation and was excited to get in there and see the valley.”

 

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A Tight-Knit Bunch

Spend a lot of time around Utah football and you may notice they are closer than most. It doesn’t matter if you talk to guys from the ’80s, ’90s, 2000s or now- they all know each other and they all get together when they have the chance. While it’s not atypical behavior for the Utes to be a tight-knit bunch, it’s been even more evident the past two or so seasons and Rising thinks it has a lot to do with head coach Kyle Whittingham.

“I think coach Whitt does a good job of making sure we are preaching ‘family’,” Rising said. “He’s always making sure guys are really coming together and doing everything they can together because this is a team sport and you’ve got to do everything in there to be on the same page. You have to be close with one another.”

 

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Anyone that has spent a lot of time around Rising knows that culture and environment are important to him. The way he handles himself and has gained the respect of his teammates and coaches speaks to that which is what has made him such a great fit with the Utes.

“I’m just a piece of the puzzle really,” Rising said. “I just found my place and I’m just one of the guys really.”

For 22

Another reason for the Utes’ being especially close these days is also partially due to what they have endured together- the shocking loss of two teammates nine months apart in Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe.

“That’s something to this day that probably keeps us close,” Rising said. “We do have so many guys from last year’s team. We just always kind of think of Aaron and Ty. They are always in the back of our minds; we always talk about ‘22%’ so you know that you are doing it for a different reason, and it just makes it that much easier to go out there and go to work.”

 

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Rising noted how special it was that both Joran and Lowe’s legacies are so closely tied to the Rose Bowl now because of Utah football’s story to get there in 2022 and now again in 2023. Before the Utes showed up in SoCal, the Rose Bowl had two memorial bricks installed with Jordan and Lowe’s names on them. Utah’s first Rose Bowl helmet, which was also a nod to the two players with a small 22 in one of the rose petals was placed in the Rose Bowl Museum during the summer as well.

“It’s special and I love seeing that 22 out there,” Rising said. “It always makes me think of those guys- both of them smiling so it’s just awesome and I’m glad that the Rose Bowl did that to make them a part of it.”

 

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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Cam Rising Talks Journey To Utah, Brotherhood