Posted by Chip Patterson
With their official arrival in the Pac-12, Utah can no longer be thought of as "BCS Busters." But their new AQ status has not just brought an easier path to high-profile bowl game, but also had immediate impact in recruiting. Head coach Kyle Whittingham explained the effect the jump has had on the recruiting trail on Tuesday while meeting with the media at Pac-12 Media Days.
"We've had a big spike in recruiting," Whittingham said. "For example, the announcement was made back in June a year ago, within ten days after the announcement we had several verbal commits. Many of which those players would not have been able to get in on without BCS Conference affiliation."
Here are some more highlights from Utah's time with media on Tuesday in Los Angeles:
- When asked about opening the conference schedule with USC, Whittingham called the experience "baptism by fire." The Utes will have their eyes on the Pac-12 South title, and what better way to start than to face the team picked to finish first in the division.
- Bringing in Norm Chow and switching offensive philosophies will benefit quarterback Jordan Wynn. According to Whittingham, Wynn mostly played under center in high school and should be more comfortable with the new system. That comfort will help Wynn, who will be making his way back to a full workload during camp after recovering from shoulder surgery.
- When asked about not drawing Oregon or Stanford in the conference schedule, Whittingham pointed out that while that would have worked out nicely a year ago, there still is no telling who will be the teams that will rise to the top in 2011.
"Every year is its own entity," Whittingham remarked. "Who is going to be the overachieving teams this year are the teams that emerge and come to the forefront and vice versa. So it remains to be seen."