The rich get richer.
It was a double-victory sort of day for Utah on Saturday when it secured massive victories both on and off the field.
Not even 12 hours after the Utes orchestrated one of their greatest comebacks in program history by overcoming a 21-point halftime deficit to score 38 straight points in the second half, Utah picked up a commitment from 2020 4-star quarterback Ja'Quinden Jackson.
"I'm going to tell you there's a real likelihood that we'll continue to try to address that position," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said on Thursday. "I think we'll be able to have a good situation by spring ball."
Jackson's commitment to the Utes is beyond special because he will add depth to the quarterback while challenging for the starter's role — at multiple positions. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 232 pounds, the Dallas native was ranked as the No. 73 overall prospect and No. 3 dual threat passer in the country last year by the 247sports composite.
Utah is clearly recruiting him at quarterback, where he shines as a runner but is a project in the passing game. He threw for 1,711 yards and ran for 1,030 yards as a senior at Duncanville, tallying 37 total touchdowns.
He will join a group that consists of former Texas transfer Cam Rising (coming off shoulder surgery), 2021 4-star recruit Peter Costelli (No. 10 ranked dual threat) and freshman Cooper Justice. The Utes have seniors Drew Lisk and Jake Bentley on the roster but they both have big decisions to make, and it's widely believed that the both of them will not return next season.
It's unknown if Jackson will be eligible to play next season as current transfer rules would require him to sit out for a season. But recently there have been legislation discussions that the NCAA could grant him immediate eligibility.
Jackson's commitment to Utah doesn't come out of nowhere.
The Utes were hard after the Jackson when he was in high school, but once he committed to Texas that relationship sort of dissolved. But throughout the recruiting process, Jackson developed a great relationship with current Utah freshman running back Ty Jordan, who hails from West Mesquite High School in Texas. Jordan was previously committed to Texas before switching to Utah.
After redshirting this past season as Texas recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the 2019 Texas 6A state semifinal game, Jackson entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on Dec. 15. Four days later, he announced he was coming to Salt Lake City.
According to reports, Jackson will be ready to compete at spring ball if he's granted immediate eligibility. With Rising out for the spring season according to Whittingham, a majority of the snaps will go to either Costelli or Jackson. It will be a great opportunity for either quarterback to make his case to be the starter entering the 2021 season.
Even if Jackson doesn't win the starting quarterback role, he's such a gifted athlete that he could start at H-back or linebacker. He was clocked running a 4.61 40-yard dash prior to the start of his senior season, and if healthy should surpass that time.
The future at the quarterback remains bright for the Utes with the addition of Jackson. Expect the spring, summer and fall to be an all-out war for the starter's role between Jackson, Costelli and Rising.
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