Johnson managed the Utah Scout team through most of September before being promoted to quarterback in the third series
Morgan Scalley had an interesting point Nate Johnson Freshman season at the University of Utah.
Scalley is the defensive coordinator for Utes and his squad goes up against the scouting team’s onslaught every week. The task of the scout team is to try to replicate what the opponent will do that week. Until he was promoted to quarterback in the third series before the Arizona State game on September 24, Johnson was directing the scouts’ offensive.
Scully and his defense had to deal with Johnson, who had to repeat the double threat to University of Florida Anthony Richardson for the inaugural season.
“No. 1, he has a high football IQ, that should be a center back,” Scully said earlier this week. “After that, he’s an athlete, I don’t know there was a time we’ve had so many double-threat quarterbacks like we saw in Pac-12. He’s done an incredible job preparing us for some of these things, and as much as we’d like to keep him there to give us a good look, It’s great to see him out there doing what he’s doing for the offense.”
Scalley’s assertion that there hadn’t been many double-threat quarterbacks in the Pac-12 before is true, but in fairness, Johnson was already on the travel list by the time Utah had to prepare for him. Dorian Thompson Robinson, University of California, Los AngelesCaleb Williams of the University of Southern California, and Cam Ward of Washington State.
Yet those September days of preparing for Richardson, preparing for southern Utah, and preparing for San Diego offered at least a glimpse of what Johnson could do. Scully and his defense figured it out, then Arizona found out last weekend as Johnson scored their first two goals against the Wildcats.
And of course, When former QB3 Ja’Quinden Jackson switched to running backwards And a new QB3 had to be selected, and Scalley has been in that decision since he noticed Johnson running the scouting team for over a month, right?
“That’s higher than my salary,” Scully joked. “Again, we’re happy about the baby as he’s working on getting his tail off. When you’re done with us as a member of the scout team, sometimes you go through the motions, but he gave it his all.”
Other things on my mind
• I got a lot of backtracking a week ago when you said the only way in Utah to New Year’s Six is the Rose Bowl. It’s not even a discussion. If the Utes wins, including the Pac-12 Championship game on December 2, they will return to Pasadena. Another loss, whether it’s November 19 in Oregon or the Pac-12 Championship game, means we’re all planning for the Alamo, Vegas or the Holiday Bowl. A three-loss Pac-12 team won’t get a major berth from NY6 to the Cotton Bowl. What?
• Transfer BYU Hunter Erickson committed to Craig Smith and Utah in September, with Utes announcing his signature on Wednesday, the first day of an early signing period. Erickson is spending the season at JUCO power Salt Lake Community College, which presents an interesting position. Erickson was originally a high-scoring student in the 2018 ranger outside Tempeview High School. He committed to then-BYU head coach Dave Rose, left him on the two-year LDS job, never finding his niche in two seasons under new boss Mark Pope.
Ericsson is not an average sophomore (eligibility). Lots of damage will be done at SLCC this winter, then come to Smith next fall with two years to play in the Pac-12.
• Which non-senior adults will participate in the Utah Senior Night celebrations on Saturday is currently a bit of a mystery. There is expected to be a roster to be announced on Saturday in the hours leading up to kick-off, so here’s my question. Is Clark Phillips III involved? A sophomore in the third year, Phillips III has an upcoming NFL draft. It was Kyle Whittingham’s thing with a non-elder, even if you were only thinking about it, involved in Senior Knight. Allow yourself to be honored in case you don’t come back. Phillips III adroitly avoided that question when he met the media on Tuesday.
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