Former Utah Quarterback Announces Commitment To Vanderbilt

Dec 18, 2023, 2:02 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 16: Nate Johnson #13 of the Utah Utes breaks a tackle by Garrett Beck #13 of the Weber State Wildcats during the first half of their game at Rice-Eccles Stadium September 16, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah Football quarterback Nate Johnson announced he will transfer to Vanderbilt of the SEC.

Johnson announced the decision on his personal social media on Sunday.

The talented quarterback announced his decision to leave Utah Football in late November.


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Nate Johnson Details His Decision To Leave Utah Football

Throughout the football season, Johnson joined Jeremiah Jensen and Alex Kirry on KSL Sports Zone for a weekly interview. During his last interview the talented quarterback explained his decision to leave.

“If I really wanted to play quarterback, become the starter and be the guy- it just wasn’t going to be here at Utah,” Johnson said. “Another thing too, with Cam coming back- he’s, their guy. He’s a guy. Coaches say it in meetings, everybody talks about him. Really, with him coming back, there is a slim chance of me playing on the field as a quarterback. There are a bunch of people who say I should switch positions. I’d make a good receiver or defensive back, but really, I just want to stick to playing quarterback. I like being the leader, leading these guys to victory.”


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Vanderbilt Transfer Nate Johnson Felt He Didn’t Get A Fair Shake To Be Quarterback At Utah

Johnson split the starting reps this past season with Bryson Barnes in both the Florida and Baylor games to start the year. During the Baylor game, Johnson was given the keys to the car for the last two drives and pulled off the last-minute win that earned him the starting job outright.

Johnson held on to that starting job for three more games- Weber State, UCLA, and Oregon State before Utah made another, final change back to Barnes during the BYE week after playing the Beavers. Johnson says he feels like he was never given the chance to earn the starting job back after that point, but did reaffirm his main reason for leaving is the return of Rising in 2024.

“They gave me a shot, obviously, with that Oregon State game,” Johnson said. “They ended up making a change and I never really got the chance to really fight for it back. That’s all I can say right now, but really the main reason is Cam coming back and knowing that I’d have to sit another year and watch.”

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Johnson wasn’t afraid to express both sides of the coin in his interview with Alex and JJ. While a lot of the conversation did focus on Johnson’s frustration and disappointment over the situation, he did also express a lot of gratitude and love for his time as a Ute too.

“I’d say my favorite memory is winning that Pac-12 Championship,” Johnson said. “That was unbelievable. It’s hard to beat a team twice. Especially that USC team from two years ago, last year. They were really good and to be able to get back to that game after having to have four or five different things happen, it was unbelievable. We were not losing that game. We had to have all of these things happen and we didn’t come to lose. That moment there was unbelievable.”

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Former Utah Quarterback Announces Commitment To Vanderbilt