Stuck behind 7th-year QB Cam Rising, Utah QBs hit portal

Utah quarterbacks Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson are entering the transfer portal with the planned return of Cameron Rising for his seventh college season in 2024.

Barnes has two years of eligibility remaining and started his college career as a walk-on. Barnes started nine games in 2023 with Rising recovering from multiple torn knee ligaments.

Barnes posted a 6-3 record in 2023 with 1,517 passing yards, 12 touchdown passes with nine interceptions. He added three rushing touchdowns.

A coveted recruit who ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at Elite 11 QB Camp as a high school junior, Johnson picked Utah over Michigan in 2021.

He has three years of eligibility left and had 499 passing yards and 235 rushing yards in 2023.

Head coach Kyle Whittinham was informed of Johnson’s decision in November after Rising decided he would play at Utah for another season. Rising turns 25 in May 2024.

“We appreciate what he did for our program while he was here and he’s a fine young man and wish him nothing but the best,” Whittingham said of Johnson.

Utah is scheduled to face Northwestern in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 23.

A two-time Pac-12 champion, Rising suffered a torn ACL in his knee against Penn State in the Rose Bowl in January 2023. At one point, while expected to potentially make a debut in 2023, Rising later revealed that he also tore an MCL and damaged two other ligaments, necessitating a longer recovery.

Rising had 46 total TD passes and threw for more than 5,500 yards in leading Utah to identical 10-4 records in 2021 and 2022.