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Former San Clemente quarterback Travis Wilson looks to lead the Utah Utes back to a bowl game as a sophomore. Courtesy of University of Utah Athletics
Former San Clemente quarterback Travis Wilson looks to lead the Utah Utes back to a bowl game as a sophomore. Courtesy of University of Utah Athletics

By Darian Nourian

Former San Clemente High quarterback Travis Wilson, who led the Tritons to a CIF Championship game appearance in 2011, is ready to lead the Utah Ute’s offense once again this upcoming season. Wilson, a rising sophomore, started seven games for Utah last season.

As a starter in 2012, Wilson passed for 1,311 yards, threw seven touchdowns and rushed for four more, going 3-4 overall as a starter. He also became the fourth true freshman quarterback to start for Utah in the school’s history, when he took the field against UCLA on October 13. Wilson was given the nod after both seniors Jordan Wynn and Jon Hays went down to injury.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham acknowledges that his team has had consistent quarterback problems over the past few years, which makes Wilson’s presence and experience in the offense integral to their success going forward. Whittingham believes that Wilson has progressed after a year of learning on the job and is more than capable of leading his football team to a winning season.

“Right now he’s our guy, and we’re expecting him to be a leader for us,” Whittingham said at Pac-12 Media Day in Culver City on Friday, July 26. “He did end up starting the last seven ballgames last year and got good experience. But we need him to hit the ground running this fall and be a leader for our offense and for the football team.”

Whittingham praised Wilson’s upside and physical growth during the offseason and hopes that Wilson can give Utah the continuity and consistency at the quarterback position the Utes have been longing to establish.

“He’s about 6-foot-6, 245 pounds and we feel he’s made tremendous strides,” Whittingham said. “When he got him in January of 2012 as a true freshman, he was only about 200 pounds. He’s made a lot of progress in the last 18 months, both physically and mentally.”

To note, the last Utah quarterback to start and finish an entire season was Brian Johnson in 2008. Johnson now serves as co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.

Wilson looks to lead the Utes back to a bowl game, after the team missed out on one for the first time in as many years. They kick off the season Thursday, August 29 at home against Utah State.

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