Christopher Smith

Wyoming QB To Transfer To Utah

Created on Jan. 08, 2014 2:01 PM EST

Wyoming is competing with Florida and possibly Penn State for "most dire quarterback situation" after presumed 2014 starter Jason Thompson decided to transfer to Utah.

The Utes announced the move via Twitter on Wednesday, which Wyoming confirmed.

New Cowboys coach Craig Bohl, fresh from a third consecutive FCS national championship with North Dakota State, already watched potential Mountain West Conference player of the year Brett Smith decide to enter the NFL draft rather than spend his senior season in Laramie. Now Thompson, a redshirt junior, will have to sit out the 2014 season and can play for the Utes for two seasons.

Bohl and incoming offensive coordinator Brent Virgen traveled to meet with Smith and Thompson at their homes before Smith's post-Christmas decision in an apparent attempt to pitch them on returning.

Fired Wyoming coach Dave Christensen reportedly had to talk Thompson into returning to the Cowboys in 2013. Now Christensen is Utah's offensive coordinator, and two of Thompson's cousins played  for the Utes.

Thompson wasn't guaranteed the job with Wyoming in 2014, but it's hard to imagine it going to anyone else with Smith departing. True sophomore Tommy Thornton returns after playing in four games, but only because Thompson redshirted to focus on developing as a quarterback. It will be up to Bohl to recruit at least a couple of freshman quarterbacks or raid the junior college ranks and find someone capable of starting in 2014.

Meanwhile, Utah already has a quarterback with buckets of potential in Travis Wilson, a 6-foot-6 dual-threat stud — who may never play again due to concussion issues.

The bigger apparent risk, if Thompson is married to the idea of playing for Christensen, is that the coaching staff won't be around after he sits out the 2014 season. Utah has languished in the Pac-12 under Kyle Whittingham. Christensen is the sixth offensive coordinator in six years for the Utes, and the Salt Lake City Tribune classified his hiring as a "desperate" move. If Whittingham doesn't convince Utah's fan base and athletic department he can institute a course correction, Thompson's former head coach and the rest of Whittingham's staff won't be around.

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