Left-shoulder surgery will end season for snakebit junior QB, who's eligible for a redshirt year.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Any hope that quarterback Jordan Wynn could return this year ended Monday when the Utah Utes announced Wynn, who injured his left shoulder in the Utes' 31-14 loss to Washington, must have surgery to repair the damage.
It will be the second surgery in less than a year for the junior, who had surgery in December on his right shoulder.
Wynn finishes the year 66-for-116 for 727 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. Wynn often struggled throwing long due to lingering effects from his December surgery and now faces another long recovery following the repair to his nonthrowing arm.
"Obviously this is disappointing news for Jordan and the entire team," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "Jordan worked incredibly hard to come back from his shoulder surgery last winter and we are confident he will take the same approach with his rehab this time around. The good news is that he is eligible for a redshirt season."
Backup quarterback Jon Hays will start for the Utes the remainder of the season. A transfer from Butte College, Hays was 18-for-30 for 199 yards and a touchdown against Arizona State Saturday in the Utes' 35-14 loss.
Hays also threw three interceptions in what was his first start, but said Monday he can improve.
"I have to work on the little things and take better care of the ball," he said. "I did OK, but I'm definitely not satisfied and took some chances I shouldn't have."
The Utes modified the offense to fit Hays' style and the quarterback said he is settling into his role.
Now the role is his for the rest of the season, which starts with a Saturday matchup at Pitt.
"I feel comfortable with the offense and I'm going to keep getting more comfortable as the weeks go on," he said. "I'm just going to have to get back out there."
Hays said Wynn has helped him make the adjustment from backup to starter. Now being a player-coach is the main role Wynn will have the rest of the season.
The shoulder injury is a big setback for the quarterback from Oceanside, Calif., who said he wanted to prove he was of the same caliber as the top-rated quarterbacks in the Pac-12.
He showed that kind of promise as a freshman when he replaced Terrance Cain as the starter and rallied the Utes to a win over Wyoming. He followed that showing by having the best starting debut ever for a Utah freshman quarterback, passing for 297 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-14 win over New Mexico.
He capped the year off by earning MVP honors in the Poinsettia Bowl as he led the Utes to a win over Cal.
Unfortunately, his career has been hampered by injuries ever since. He missed two games last year with a thumb injury and played the last few games despite a shoulder injury. However, a hit he took against BYU damaged his throwing shoulder enough that he had shoulder surgery on Dec. 13 and sat out the Las Vegas Bowl loss to Boise State.
Keeping him healthy this year was the Utes' top priority for their offense.
Unfortunately for the Utes, Wynn didn't even make it to the halfway point of the season.
Wynn's injury rundown
• Missed the UNLV and New Mexico games in 2010 with a thumb injury
• Injury suffered against BYU in 2010 led to offseason shoulder surgery
• Didn't participate in spring ball while recovering from shoulder surgery
• Throws were limited in preseason camp to make sure he didn't suffer an overuse injury
• Was 12-for-17 for 149 yards and a touchdown against Washington before injuring his shoulder at the end of the first half