UCLA Coach Chip Kelly: I Have A Ton Of Respect For Cam Rising

Sep 21, 2023, 12:26 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly recently expressed the respect he has for Utah quarterback Cam Rising to the Los Angeles media ahead of the Bruin’s meet up with the Utes on Saturday.

This will potentially be the third meeting between the two since Rising took over the starting job in 2021. The only hold up is whether Rising will be cleared to play after sustaining an ACL tear at the Rose Bowl in January.

If Rising is good to go against UCLA, Kelly expressed he is expecting the full version of Utah’s dynamic quarterback. If Nate Johnson trots out, Kelly is preparing to face one of the fastest quarterbacks in the country by his estimation.

Chip Kelly’s Thoughts On Cam Rising, Nate Johnson

Kelly wasn’t shy about expressing his admiration for Utah quarterback Cam Rising, noting he is one of the elite quarterbacks not just in the Pac-12, but the entire country.

“I’ve got a ton of respect for Cam Rising,” Kelly said. “I think he’s an amazing competitor. We’ve played against him before. He’s been one of the top quarterbacks not only in this league, but in the country for a long time.”

As to whether he expects to see Rising or Johnson, Kelly said he knows head coach Kyle Whittingham is staunch about doing what is best for his guys health-wise and whatever decision Utah makes for Saturday will be based on that.

“Kyle is always making his decisions around health and safety,” Kelly said. “Nate Johnson played really well the last couple of weeks, but I think we’ve got to prepare for both of them.”

Chip Kelly Expects Utah To Be Prepared Regardless Of Who Plays QB

Kelly said he and the Bruins are not prepared to see some watered down, rusty version of Rising if he does in fact get cleared to play.

“I think he’s an unbelievable competitor and great football player,” Kelly said. “I think if they declare him ready to go, we expect the full version of Cam Rising.”

If Nate Johnson is out on the field for the Utes on Saturday, Kelly is prepared for a speed demon who can take off and go at the drop of a hat.

“Nate is maybe one of the fastest quarterbacks in the country,” Kelly said. “He was a 100-meter guy here in the state of California and really active, but he can throw the ball well. He can beat you with his arms and legs. They’ve got a little bit more of a run package with him than they probably would with Cam. You’ve got to prepare for it all because they have all played recently for them.”

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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UCLA Coach Chip Kelly: I Have A Ton Of Respect For Cam Rising