If you do not play Jack Tuttle at quarterback in 2018, you will never recruit a player of his caliber again. These days in college football, you have to play your freshman. Even at the biggest schools at the premier positions, you have to play the freshmen. That term used to mean someone who was unprepared for life, let alone football. Now it means someone who has the power to transfer and potentially hurt your chance to land the next crop of young men looking for college football stardom.
Football culture used to dictate that freshmen were rarely ready to play and would only do so out of extreme necessity. Then came Matt Barkley at USC who played every game his true freshman season in 2009 and threw for 2,735 yards with 15 touchdowns. USC won 9 games that year. In 2015, UCLA trotted out a true freshman QB in Josh Rosen who threw for 3,670 yards and 23 touchdowns. UCLA won 8 games that year. In 2016 Alabama was led to the national championship by a true freshman in Jalen Hurts after he accounted for 3,734 total yards and 36 total touchdowns. Jake Fromm at Georgia this year was a true freshman QB with 2,615 yards and 24 touchdowns. Georgia won 13 games with their young fella.
Freshmen are being coached at a higher level than ever before in football history. High School coaches are better prepared to help guys make the jump to major D-1 football programs. Humans have a much better understanding of nutrition. I can remember my dad telling me in the early 1970’s that he would eat a dozen baked potatoes and a gallon of ice cream to gain weight for football. Now a days players are counting their “macros,” whatever that means.
Jack Tuttle is 6’4” and already looks to be more than 20 pounds heavier that the Utes’ incumbent starter at QB, Tyler Huntley. Tuttle graduated high school a semester early to enroll at Utah so he can participate in spring ball. Spring football is where jobs are won and lost. Without the physical strain of the fall training camp, you can better assess your players skills in the spring football setting.
Tyler Huntley had a nice year for Utah in 2017 but he is by no means the guaranteed starter next season. Troy Williams and Travis Wilson got benched as seniors so Kyle Whittingham is clearly not afraid to ruffle a few feathers. I predict Tyler Huntley will begin the 2018 season as Utah’s starting QB. At some point in the season Jack Tuttle will be inserted into the starting QB role either because of injury or inconsistent play from Tyler Huntley.
Freshman quarterbacks used to be a death sentence for a major college football program. Now they can show that your coach is willing to give young guys a chance which will entice next year’s recruits to believe they have a chance to be a star as well. Division 1 football is all about recruiting more talent to your program. Each recruiting class must be better than the last one. Kyle Whittingham always says that recruiting is the lifeblood of a football program.
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