Prior to the 2021 campaign, Utah quarterback Cameron Rising had thrown six pass attempts in his first three seasons as he moved from Texas to Utah and then battled injury. He was a No. 2 to open the season last fall. But, in the third game of the Utes’ season, Rising took over for the since-departed Charlie Brewer and the rest is history.

Utah won its first Pac-12 title and booked a trip to the Rose Bowl. Once Rising took over, a 1-2 Utah team ripped off wins in nine of its next 10 games. Rising threw for 2,493 yards and 20 touchdowns against just five interceptions. He ended the year sixth in ESPN’s total QBR metric, an all-encompassing tool to evaluate quarterback efficiency.

Perhaps that was just the appetizer. Utah certainly has bigger dreams in 2022. If Rising can lead the team to even greater heights, he’s a name to watch in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Yes, that’s even in a loaded quarterback pool. A handful of anonymous NFL scouts raved about his ability to ESPN’s Matt Miller recently (ESPN+ subscription required).

Said one scout: “Everyone wants to put their stamp on a sleeper quarterback, but (Rising)’s mine. Dude can spin it and has a toughness to him you love to see. I heard he wowed people at the Manning camp. He could be this year’s Zach Wilson.”

Wilson, another Utah-based quarterback himself, saw a meteoric rise during the 2020 season for BYU and went on to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

Could Rising climb into the top 10 when guys like Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis, and Tanner McKee will be draft-eligible? It’s possible. Another standout season from Rising and it will be hard to overlook him as a dual-threat quarterback who makes smart decisions with the football and produces wins.

Said another scout: “All the hype coming out of (the Manning Passing Academy) was Rising’s arm talent and mobility. He’s not the biggest guy, but I heard he outperformed a lot of the name quarterbacks there.”

He and the Utes will get the new season rolling on Sept. 3 in The Swamp against the Florida Gators.