College Football Nation: Tyler Shreve
“Tyler leaves our program on good terms,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “Tyler has an equal passion for football and baseball and we wish him well in his desire to pursue both sports.”
Shreve, who was with the team for bowl practices until this week, has left school.
Some quick thoughts on that here from Lya Wodraska.
Shreve was a grayshirt entry last spring and struggled. His struggles led to the Utes pursuing Jon Hays, who transferred in this past summer after the team he initially signed with out of Butte College -- Nebraska-Omaha -- dropped its football program.
The Utes' quarterback situation is interesting. A lot depends on when and how well Jordan Wynn comes back from a second shoulder surgery. Hays did an admirable job managing the game for a conservative offense, but getting Wynn back in his late-2009/early-2010 form would be ideal.
The Utes have commitments from two quarterbacks already for their 2012 recruiting class.
The Utes (2-2 overall, 0-2 Pac-12) play host to Arizona State ( 4-1, 2-0) on Saturday in a key South Division game. They play at Pittsburgh on Oct. 15 and at California on Oct. 22.
It's not even certain Wynn will be back at that point. Said a statement from the school: "He will be re-evaluated at that time to determine if he is ready to return."
The statement didn't identify the nature of the shoulder injury.
Wynn will be replaced by junior Jon Hays. He transferred to Utah this summer after the team he initially signed with out of Butte College -- Nebraska-Omaha -- dropped its football program.
He has played in two games this season, playing out the fourth quarter of Utah’s rout of Brigham Young on Sept. 17 and playing the entire second half of last week’s loss to Washington. He's completed 10 of 17 passes for 156 yards with a TD and an interception. His backup will be true freshman Tyler Shreve.
"[Hays] showed a lot of poise on a lot of plays," coach Kyle Whittingham said. "I saw a lot of positives in the half that he played. He has a strong arm and runs fairly effectively."
Whittingham added that the offense might get some tweaks. "We have to change some things in our offense to play to our quarterback's strengths," he said. "It will necessitate that we do some different things. We'll play more shotgun and more spread. We're working through that as we speak. Jon is a better runner than Jordan."
On the plus side, Whittingham also said he expects to get offensive tackle Tony Bergstrom, tight end Kendrick Moeai and tight end Jake Murphy back this week.
- It was a good practice to watch: full-pads, lots of hitting. Day turned out beautiful after morning snow but practice was still indoors.
- It seemed like there were more nice moments running the ball than passing the ball, but that should be expected with a pair of inexperienced backups trying to learn coordinator Norm Chow's West Coast offense. One observer noted that the play-action looks particularly needed work.
- If I were forced to guess, I'd say true freshman quarterback Tyler Shreve is at least even with sophomore Griff Robles in their competition to back up Jordan Wynn.
- One of my early thoughts was, "Utah passes the eye test. It looks like a Pac-12 team." Then I looked up at banners celebrating a pair of unbeaten seasons capped by BCS bowl wins. But of course Utah passes the eye test.
- Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was listed at 330 pounds on the November depth chart. He now carries 310 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frames. He's a load and moves well. My guess is more than a few interior Pac-12 offensive linemen are going to wish he stayed in the Mountain West Conference.
- Been hearing some good things about redshirt freshman tight end Jake Murphy, but the last name didn't register much until it was pointed out to me that the tall man standing near me was his father, Dale Murphy. If you grew up in Atlanta during the '80s, it didn't get much bigger than Murphy, the two-time National League MVP for the Braves. His other son, Shawn, is now playing for the Denver Broncos. It was a bit surreal having a casual conversation with a childhood hero. Really nice guy; just like his longstanding reputation.
Wynn will toss only short throws with a trainer and won't practice with the Utes this spring, but Whittingham said that Wynn's rehabilitation is "very much on schedule, if not ahead of schedule."
With Wynn out, sophomore Griff Robles and true freshman Tyler Shreve (a grayshirt) have been getting all the work with the first-team offense as they compete to back up Wynn in 2011. In just five practices, Shreve has shown enough that he's squarely in the hunt.
"He's progressed," Whittingham said. "He's a kid who has a strong arm. He sat out last season so he's a little rusty."
Some more notes:
- Whittingham on the move of Brian Blechen from safety to linebacker: "It's very obvious that's where he belongs."
- The running back competition is down to three guys: John White, Harvey Langi and Thretton Palamo. Luke Matthews had been listed as a running back but Whittingham said he's become more of a "slash" player: a receiver/running back.
- In fact, it appears new offensive coordinator Norm Chow is bringing the "F-back" hybrid position to Utah. In the latest depth chart, Matthews and tight end Jake Murphy were listed as "fullbacks." In the previous depth chart, receiver Mo Lee also was listed there.
- Boo Anderson has moved back to linebacker after starting spring as a fullback.
- Whittingham seemed to be feeling pretty good about his front seven, particularly defensive tackles Star Lotulelei -- Whittingham said he's "the anchor of the defensive line" -- and James Aiono.
- When asked for some standout redshirt freshmen so far this spring, Whittingham listed Murphy, receivers Dres Anderson and Kenneth Scott, linebackers V.J.Fehoko and Jacoby Hale, and safety Terrell Reese.
Will have more after practice.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham released a statement Wednesday saying that Shreve was indefinitely suspended and that the team would reevaluate his status in January.
“Tyler will not be a member of our football team this fall,” Whittingham said. “We have laid out specific guidelines and expectations that Tyler will need to follow in order for him to receive reconsideration to join our program in January.”
In March, Shreve, 18, of Redlands, Calif., wrestled Redlands East Valley baseball coach James Cordes to the ground in anger after being informed he was being dismissed from the team. The incident happened on school grounds on Feb. 24.
Shreve, a 6-foot-4 pitcher and starting quarterback, was expelled March 4 and was formally charged with misdemeanor battery.
Shreve’s defense attorney Gregory H. Kassel pleaded not guilty on Shreve’s behalf on May 13 and Shreve is next due in court on May 27 for a pretrial hearing.
Shreve is the No. 24 quarterback recruit in the country according the ESPN's Scouts Inc. He signed with Utah in February after switching his commitment from Colorado State. He's also one of the top prep baseball players in the country. Keith Law, senior baseball analyst for Scouts Inc., said Shreve could be drafted as high as the second round in June.
Attempts to reach Shreve on his cell phone were unsuccessful.
When Shreve spoke with ESPN.com in March, he said he was attending a community school in San Bernardino, Calif., and was on pace to graduate with a degree from Redlands East Valley. He also said he was playing travel baseball to maintain his draft status.
Shreve said he was pleased with how Utah had stood by him through his legal troubles.
“Utah’s been there for me. They’ve helped me throughout this whole thing. I’m still hoping to get drafted. But yeah, Utah’s been totally supportive through this whole thing.
“They’ve totally stood by me and had my back.”
Whittingham said in March that he wanted to let the legal process play out before he made his decision regarding Shreve’s scholarship status.
As Redlands East Valley's starting quarterback, Shreve was 33-4. He threw for 4,732 yards and 54 touchdowns. In baseball last summer, he was selected as one of 20 AFLAC All-Americans from the western region. He also participated in the Area Code Games, a showcase of the top players in the country.
Shreve has said all along that his hope is to be drafted and that if he’s drafted highly and the money is right he will forgo college. Whittingham’s statement likely swayed Shreve toward baseball.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham would be the first to acknowledge that the early half of national signing day was a little unsettling.
The Utes suffered a couple early blows by losing receiver Avery Williams to West Virginia and four-star defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli to Oregon. But as the day wore on, the Utes started to rally and put together what some consider the best class among the nonautomatic qualifying schools.
“We had a good rally on signing day,” Whittingham said. “We had a good idea that that might happen, but you never know for sure. We were able to get a few guys on signing day that were a few pleasant surprises. I won’t say surprises, but it was good to see their commitment sheets come in.”
The biggest name on the board is Fullerton Community College offensive tackle John Cullen, who picked the Utes over USC. Cullen, who took a late visit to Salt Lake City, said he connected with Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn and that that was part of the draw of coming to Utah. For the Utes, Cullen’s decision fills one of the few immediate voids on the depth chart.
“If you had to pinpoint a pressing need, it was probably replacing Zane Beadles at left tackle and John Cullen certainly gives us a leg up on that,” Whittingham said.
Cullen is one of four junior college players the Utes brought in for 2010.
The other saviors of the Utes' class were running back Lucky Radley and V.J. Fehoko, a linebacker and the only Hawaiian in the Utes’ class. Fehoko is rated as the No. 14 inside linebacker by ESPN’s Scouts Inc.
The addition of Radley brings the Utes’ scholarship running back total to five, but that could move to six should senior Matt Asiata earn a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA and be allowed to play in 2010.
The Utes also picked up two quarterbacks in Brian Blechen and Tyler Shreve since Terrance Cain is a senior and the Utes will only have two quarterbacks on the roster in 2011. However, Whittingham said he doesn’t plan to keep all four at quarterback. He noted that Griff Robles, who will be a redshirt freshman this year, and Blechen are athletic enough to play other positions.
“We really had a situation this year where we were really looking for the best athletes across the board. We didn’t really have an area that was decimated by graduation or what have you. We had the luxury to just take the best players we came across and I think we had a good cross section of players.”