Epic news just came down the pipeline for Utah, kicking off spring football on an incredibly positive note, as junior quarterback Travis Wilson has been cleared to continue playing football, starting this spring. Wilson was lost for the season with a head injury that revealed a pre-existing condition last November that knocked him out for the rest of the season and put his future in football in serious question.
With Wilson confirmed to be in the fold for the Utes, the biggest task for the program this spring will be adjusted him back to football and taking his game to the next level after he had started to struggle during Pac-12 play in 2013. Wilson has shown flashes of just how good he could be in his first two seasons in Salt Lake City, but if he can become more accurate and consistent, he could take the Utes from just on the cusp of bowl eligibility to contender in the South, and should be their biggest focus on offense in the spring.
Wilson came out of the gate strong in 2013, throwing for nine touchdowns to just three interceptions while also running for more than 250 yards and five touchdowns as he had the Utes competing for a bowl game, but his accuracy and consistently really tapered off as he got into the heart of their Pac-12 schedule.
In these games, Wilson was putting up a lot of yards and some touchdowns, but was throwing the ball around a little too carelessly and throwing too many interceptions that really hurt the Utes. Outside of the Utes' upset of Stanford, Wilson actually struggled in Pac-12 play with his completion percentage around 40 percent, and only seven touchdowns to 15 interceptions. It is going to be very hard for the Utes to take that next step as a program if Wilson can't improve these numbers in Pac-12 play so his accuracy and ability to throw the ball away when under pressure or when a play is not there will need to be improved this spring.
The ideal performance for Wilson to study will be the aforementioned over Stanford in a game where he excelled against one of the nation's best defensive units. In their October upset of the Cardinal, Wilson was poised and went 23-34 for 234 yards and two touchdowns with just one interception. If Wilson can bounce back from the injury scare and polish his poise to the level of that he flashed against the Cardinal along with continue to be a deceptively dangerous runner, the Utes could be much better than expected in 2014.
One thing that will be very interesting to keep an eye on this spring, if Wilson doesn't show the clear cut ability to do this is the development of junior Adam Schulz, who filled in for Wilson when he was injured in 2013. Schulz wasn't phenomenal as a starter, but his numbers weren't that far off of Wilson's, and he has the potential to turn it into a competition this spring.