UTAH UTES

College Football, Meet Utah’s Bryson Barnes

Sep 7, 2023, 4:55 PM | Updated: 4:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – If you are an avid fan of Utah football, you’re likely very familiar with No. 16 on offense for the Utes at this point.

For the rest of college football? Well, they are just learning about Bryson Barnes and can’t seem to get enough.

Barnes has been the backup for starting Utah quarterback Cam Rising the past three seasons and while he hasn’t played a ton- he has sparked a lot of curiosity in the college football world with one of those unique, feel-good stories fans love to read about.

Bryson Barnes’ Big Debut At The 2022 Rose Bowl

The college football world first became aware of Barnes during Utah’s first Rose Bowl appearance in 2022 after Rising suffered a concussion against Ohio State.

The game was already entertainment gold to that point with both sides in a shoot-out after the Utes had jumped to a sizable lead early in the contest. Barnes’ entrance into the game pushed it a notch further.

Most teams reel when their leader goes down the way that Rising did, but the Utes under Barnes were undeterred and wasted zero time putting the Buckeyes on notice.

With 1:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, Barnes threw a 15-yard toss to Kincaid tying the game at 45-45 and leaving media scrambling to find out who Utah’s new gunslinger was.

Unfortunately for Barnes and the Utes there was too much time left on the clock and tOSU was able to kick a game-winning field goal to win the game, 48-45, but it didn’t change the fact a legend was born.

Where Is Bryson Barnes From?

Part of what has peaked college football fans’ curiosity about Barnes is the fact he hails from a very small town in Utah called Milford.

Located in the south-west corner of Utah in Beaver County, Milford boasts a population of 1,431 according to the 2020 census. It also mainly boasts farmland which brings us to our next point.

Why Is Barnes Called “The Pig Farmer”?

Barnes grew up on his family’s farm and raised an estimated 12,000 or so pigs according to his University of Utah player bio.

 

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Barnes’ High School Football Record

Anyone that has spent a lot of time around football or knows anything about running a farm understands the time commitment involved which in turn makes Barnes’ story that much more impressive.

On top of raising pigs growing up, Barnes was also a very good quarterback at Milford High School setting the Utah state record for career touchdown passes at 137. That record still stands.

Bryson Barnes ‘Wows’ College Football Again Vs. Florida

 

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Utah football opened up their 2023 season hosting the Florida Gators at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes were unfortunately without starter Cam Rising who was still recovering from an ACL tear earlier in the year against Penn State at the Rose Bowl.

In Barnes’ second career start, he wasted little time letting everyone know Utah would be ok under his leadership dropping back and launching a 70-yard touchdown pass to receiver Money Parks in his first play of the game.

 

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The Utes went on to beat the Gators, 24-11, and Barnes was given a scholarship for his efforts after having participated on the team the previous two years as a walk-on.

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 X, Instagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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College Football, Meet Utah’s Bryson Barnes