When Jason Shelley transferred to Utah State earlier this year, it cam with the expectation that he was going to battle it out with the Aggies backup quarterback from last season, Henry Colombi.
But Colombi elected to transfer, and that left Shelley as the front runner to fill the massive shoes of Jordan Love, the first-round drafted quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.
Now it's official. Shelley will be filling Love's shoes as he was recently named Utah State's starting quarterback ahead of Saturday's season opener against Boise State. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. from Boise, Idaho.
Colombi transferred to Texas Tech, where he was named the team's starting quarterback and has led the Red Raiders to a 1-3 record.
According to Utah State head coach Gary Anderson, Shelley has come a long way since he arrived on campus.
Not only has he picked up the playbook and offensive philosophies quickly, he's become a leader in the locker room and the huddle. Combining all of that with his dual-threat capabilities and Power-5 starting experience, it's no wonder Shelley won the starting role.
“It was very competitive. (Andrew) Peasley is a great athlete and throws a very pretty ball. He gave me good competition. I had to be at my best every day. I couldn’t take any days off," Shelley said of the QB battle. "If we feel we can run the ball effectively, I can add to that and if we need me to throw the ball 30-40 times a game I can do that too.”
Through his two years with the Utes, Shelley — who checks in at 5-foot-11 and 200-pounds — finished with 1,428 yards of total offense for the Utes, including 1,205 passing yards in 19 games.
But he's best known in Utah circles for leading the team to a come-from-behind win over hated-rival BYU two years ago.
It was on a Saturday night in late November when Utah, the No. 17 ranked team in the nation, found itself trailing hated-rival BYU 27-14 entering the fourth quarter.
Shelley, who had replaced injured starter Tyler Huntley two games prior, had brought Utah back and now held a 28-27 advantage with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter. With the ball on BYU's 33-yard line on 1st-and-10, Shelley faked a handoff to Zack Moss, ran right and broke three tackles en route to the endzone and the win.
Former Utah running back Devonta'e Henry-Cole, who transferred from Utah to BYU before having a change of heart and joining the Aggies, is listed as the backup running back.
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