PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – For the first time in several years, there is no quarterback controversy at BYU. Jaren Hall is the unquestioned starter, and is hoping to build off a great 2021 season.
“We didn’t want to have a quarterback drama every year,” said BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick. “We just happened to have a lot of good players. But Jaren clearly established himself this past season. I think he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country.”
“I’m a lot more comfortable,” Hall said about going in at the starter. “But it comes with its own challenges. I’ve got to find new ways to really focus and get the best out of myself. You can’t just float because you don’t get better. So I’ve had to be creative and find ways to push myself to find more competition personally.”
Hall threw for 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions last year, while completing 65 percent of his passes in 2021. But the key with Hall is always his health. After his 2019 and 2020 seasons were plagued by injuries, Hall missed three more games, including the Independence Bowl, with injuries.
“I expect us to do everything we can to keep him healthy,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “That’s an easy thing to say when you’re playing a violent sport. We need to do our part. But I also at the same time don’t want him to be hesitant where he’s not learning and growing to be better.”
Hall will have plenty of weapons to work with this season with wide receivers Puka Nacua and Gunnar Romney, Isaac Rex and Dallin Hoke at tight end, not to mention what could possibly be the best offensive line in BYU history.
“Talk about weapons,” Hall said with a big smile on his face. “We’ve got weapons, and then we’ve got our offensive line. You can go eight or nine guys deep in our receiving corps, our tight ends are four or five deep. They all do different things, but they all compliment each other. So I feel bad for A-Rod and [assistant coach Fesi [Sitake]. They’ve got to find out who to put on the field. So I’m glad that’s not my job.”
“Obviously the offense runs through him,” said Nacua. “He’s the best leader to go out and do it. He just makes everything run so smoothly.”
Being the quarterback at BYU always comes with plenty of notoriety. But even though he has settled into the starting role, Hall shies away from the spotlight, instead deflecting the attention to his teammtes.
“All the lights and cameras, that’s cool if you like that stuff,” he said. “But for me, the best part [about being the starting quarterback ] is just the people you get to meet. I’m from here, so I love the people, the Cougar Nation, the fans. They’re my people, and hopefully I’m their people.”
Having become a dad last year, Hall has matured in a lot of ways on and off the field. Hall’s little daughter Jayda has given him a renewed sense of purpose.
“I just found a new “why” for why I do it,” Hall said. “I think being a dad has increased my love for football and increased the importance of it to my life for my wife and baby girl. It’s helped us bond a lot more. We’ve had a lot of restless nights over football. We’ve had nights where I’ve needed her, and she’s been there.”
BYU kicks off the 2022 season September 3rd at South Florida.