Jaylon Johnson opts out of Alamo Bowl

Ryan Kostecka

As if it wasn't bad enough already, Utah received more bad news regarding its banged up secondary.

With safety Julian Blackmon and his backup R.J. Hubert already out of the bowl game with season-ending injuries suffered in the Pac-12 championship game, the Utes found out that they were about to be without another star.

Cornerback Jaylon Johnson, an all-Pac-12 first-teamer from this past season, has announced that he will skip the Alamo Bowl against Texas. Instead the junior is leaving Utah a year early and skipping the season finale to prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.

Without Johnson, Utah will turn to Josh Nurse and Tareke Lewis to take over as the starting cornerbacks, as the seniors have split time playing opposite Johnson all season. Nickel Javelin Guidry is expected to take on a bigger role with Johnson out, while starting safety Terrell Burgess can fill in at cornerback if needed, defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said.

If Burgess moves over to cornerback, expect Nephi Sewell to take over at safety. he played against Oregon in conference championship game after receiving an NCAA waiver as a transfer from Nevada. Vonte Davis is another player who could see action in a reserve role. 

Utah's secondary, which is now a work in progress at best, must face Texas' high-powered offense led by 4,000-yard quarterback Sam Ehlinger and 1,000-yard wide receiver Devin Duvernay.

“It's a challenge, but that's why you recruit, that's why you develop [players],” Scalley said.