Former USC Star Comments On Utah QB Ranking: ‘Rising Should Be Higher’ 

May 9, 2023, 4:58 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Former USC star quarterback Matt Leinart has a problem with a recent list ranking 2023 quarterbacks, noting Utah starter Cam Rising should be higher.

Leinart not only has authority on the topic as a Heisman winning quarterback in the Conference of Champions, and seven-year NFL veteran but also as a college football analyst for Fox Sports. In other words, Leinart knows what it takes on and off the field to be a great signal caller on the gridiron.

In the subsequent fan ranking, Rising came in at No. 13 behind conference-mates Shedeur Saunders (No.11), Bo Nix (No. 5), Michael Penix Jr. (No. 3), and Caleb Williams (No. 1). Additionally, Oregon State quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei also made the list at No. 49. Saunders and Uiagalelei are newcomers to the Pac-12 this season after transferring in from Jackson State and Clemson respectively.

Talking About Utah’s Cam Rising

Rising has been a revelation for the Utes since taking over the starting quarterback role three games into the 2021 football season. Almost in an instant, Utah went from being very underwhelming to a team not taking any prisoners under Rising’s leadership.

In fact, the Utes rode that attitude (along with the pain of losing two teammates in less than a year’s span) all the way to their first Pac-12 Championship Title and Rose Bowl berth. Rising was brilliant in Utah’s first appearance in the “Grandaddy of them All” against Ohio State, going 17-22 passing for 214 yards, and two touchdowns along with 11 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown before a concussion knocked him out of the game.

Naturally, Rising’s 2021 performance caught college football’s attention and the hype was on in the lead up to the 2022 football season. 

While 2022 felt surprisingly more “up and down” than 2021, Rising stepped up to the task, going 249 of 385 for 3,034 yards, and 26 touchdowns. Rising’s leadership once again put the Utes on top, earning their second straight Pac-12 Title and Rose Bowl appearance.

Unfortunately, Rising suffered another injury in the Rose Bowl against Penn State, tearing his ACL. Rising has since had surgery on his knee, and by all accounts it sounds like he’s progressing well and should be ready to go come Utah’s opener against Florida on August 31.

Still, there is a certain amount of “unknown” surrounding more serious injuries no matter how well the recovery is going, and therefore it seems college football has cooled a tad on Rising for 2023. Chances are pretty good, Rising and company are just fine with being a little “under the radar” once more.

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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Former USC Star Comments On Utah QB Ranking: ‘Rising Should Be Higher’