Reports Indicate Utah’s Cam Rising Is ‘Doubtful’ To Start Against Florida

Aug 30, 2023, 2:56 PM | Updated: Aug 31, 2023, 10:42 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football is a little over 24 hours away from kicking off their 2023 season and reports are beginning to indicate quarterback Cam Rising is “doubtful” to start against Florida.

The dynamic Ute quarterback suffered an ACL tear in the Rose Bowl that was always going to be on a tight timeline to fully recover from to start the 2023 college football season. Rising by all accounts has made great strides, but it was ultimately going to be up to Utah’s medical staff to clear him and Whittingham indicated earlier this week that decision could come as late as game time.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel posted on X Wednesday afternoon that things were looking doubtful for the Utes’ QB1 and to expect Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson to play against the Gators Thursday evening.

Utah, Kyle Whittingham Playing Cam Rising’s Status By Ear

Whittingham and the Utes have a pretty stringent policy they don’t talk about injuries unless they are season-ending, so the details given about the possibility of seeing Rising on Thursday were not elaborate during his press conference on Monday.

“We’re still in flux today- we play in three days,” Whittingham said earlier in the week. “We’ll just have to see how it shakes out. I don’t have anything to add or elaborate on from the depth chart. We’ll just have to wait and see on some guys and see who is available and who is not.”

As for what Barnes and Johnson potentially bring to the table, Whittingham seems positive about both player’s strengths. However, as of Monday, it sounds like Barnes’ experience has tipped the hand in his favor to be the starter in the event Rising cannot go. Johnson has done enough though to earn play time as well- presumably as a change of pace at quarterback for the Utes.


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“Nate has really closed the gap,” Whittingham said. “You have to weigh everything- you have Barnes who won the Washington State game and performed very well in the Ohio State game when he went in. Nate has done well in the limited reps he’s got, but it hasn’t been extensive so there is a lot of- I don’t want to say guess work, but projecting. You’ll see Nate Johnson in this game no matter what happens.”

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Reports Indicate Utah’s Cam Rising Is ‘Doubtful’ To Start Against Florida