Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Utah QB Cameron Rising, TE Brant Kuithe shut down for 2023 season, opening door for medical redshirts

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Utah quarterback Cameron Rising and tight end Brant Kuithe will not see action for the Utes in 2023, coach Kyle Whittingham announced following the team’s 34-32 win at No. 18 USC. Rising and Kuithe have yet to appear for No. 14 Utah through seven games this season as they recover from separate injuries. They’ll have the option to pursue medical redshirts in wake of what Whittingham described as a “medical decision” to shut the two players down for the season.

“They’ve got a lot of options,” Whittingham said. “As far as I’m aware … they should both get the extra year [with a medical redshirt], but we don’t make that decision. That’s an NCAA decision, but that should preserve the year because they’re season-ending injuries.”

Rising suffered a devastating knee injury during last January’s Rose Bowl loss to Penn State, tearing multiple ligaments and needing surgery. Rising served as the team’s primary starter during back-to-back Pac-12 championship runs and made consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. Kuithe has not seen the field since suffering a torn ACL during Utah’s win against Arizona State in September 2022. 

Despite the severity of their injuries, there was some hope Rising and Kuithe could play prominent roles on Utah’s offense in 2023, but recoveries have dragged on well into the season. Kuithe was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection in three straight years from 2019-21 and named a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in the 2023 preseason. Rising was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection for his efforts in 2021 after he emerged as the team’s starter several games into the season. 

Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson have both seen action at quarterback this season amid Rising’s absence. Senior Thomas Yassmin had been the team’s most productive tight end in relief of Kuithe before it was announced last week that he’d be undergoing season-ending surgery, leaving the Utes even more thin at that position. 

In taking medical redshirts, Rising and Kuithe would be on track to spend their seventh seasons at the collegiate level in 2024, which will be Utah’s first season as a member of the Big 12. Utah is one of four Pac-12 schools leaving the conference for the Big 12 on that timeline, joined by Colorado, Arizona State and Arizona. 

Utah returns to action at home against Oregon in Week 9 looking to improve to 7-1 on the season. 

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