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Vanderbilt lands Utah transfer QB Nate Johnson

We have a quarterback.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Utah Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, we’ve had a lot of questions answered about Vanderbilt’s 2024 offense. On Saturday night, news came out that Vanderbilt had hired New Mexico State offensive coordinator Tim Beck; tonight, Vanderbilt got its quarterback.

Nate Johnson appeared in eight games this season at Utah, completing 39-of-72 passes for 499 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions; he also ran the ball 59 times for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns. That latter part is the kicker: Johnson can run, with a 100-meter time of 10.56 seconds. (How much his rushing total was dragged down by sacks isn’t clear; Utah’s site indicates that he lost 96 yards running the ball, which probably indicates it was a fair amount.)

Johnson played in four games for the Utes in 2022, preserving a redshirt, and will have three years of eligibility to play at Vanderbilt. He was in a weird situation at Utah; two-year starter Cam Rising missed the entire 2023 season and was set to return next year, which probably would have blocked him from the starting job next season there.

It seemed like Clark Lea went into the offseason looking to add a quarterback who can run the ball and he clearly got that. Now, we wait to find out if Vanderbilt is finished adding quarterbacks or if they bring in competition for spring ball.