Coaches Of Jaren Hall Give High Praise To Young QB’s Talent, Character
PROVO, Utah – With Zach Wilson out due to an injury on his throwing hand, all the attention shifts towards redshirt freshman Jaren Hall.
Hall has seen very limited time in games during his year and a half with the BYU football program. But he’s going to see plenty of opportunities to shine in the coming weeks while Wilson recovers from surgery he had this past Tuesday.
For those who know Hall and have been around him, they expect the dual-sport athlete to perform at a high level for the BYU offense.
One of those people who has worked closely with Hall is Quarterback Elite Founder Dustin Smith. Smith, who founded QB Elite with BYU legend Ty Detmer, got in touch with Jaren and the Hall family when he was first working with Jaren’s older brother and former BYU running back, KJ Hall four years ago.
Smith feels that people are underestimating Hall’s abilities to pass the football, but does note Jaren is gifted enough to make plays with his legs as well.
“The really unique thing about Jaren that I noticed in high school and from the little we’ve been able to see in games and then scrimmages this past spring is that Jaren has a real unique ability to run to extend plays, not just to run,” said Smith. “You get some guys that are looking to run and they make the big SportsCenter play where they’re making everybody miss and they run all over the place and they tear off for 20 yards and it looks great. But they also take big sacks and make a lot of dumb decisions in the process. Jaren’s a kid who he could probably run and use his speed because he’s not only fast, but he’s strong.”
Smith continued, “He’ll sit in the pocket, he’ll let plays develop and if he has to he’ll dice teams for five to six yards and that’s hard. Any offensive coordinator would tell you if they have a quarterback who can do that, that saves a lot of their play calls. And any defensive coordinator will tell you that’s their worst nightmare when they have to account for a quarterback being able to take up a busted play … and then they beat you with their feet for six or seven yards. And that’s what Jaren can do. But, Jaren can also -if he sets his feet and lets one fly- throw a ball 65, 70 yards. He’s got an unbelievable arm.”
Hall’s baseball coach weighs in on BYU’s new starting QB
Along with football, Hall excels on the diamond as well at BYU. If projections hold up that Hall will be the starter against South Florida on October 12th, it will be the first time a dual-sport athlete at BYU starts at QB for the football team since Gifford Nielsen. Along with football, Nielsen played for the BYU basketball team from 1973-1975.
BYU baseball head coach Mike Littlewood is impressed with Hall’s character.
“We’re extremely excited for him,” said Littlewood on the Cougar Tracks podcast. “I sent him a text this morning saying, ‘you know, you worked hard for this opportunity and we’re all behind you here in the baseball program’ and we love him.
“But last year, he could have come into the baseball program and just thought he was better than everybody because he was a quarterback. There’s a stigma that comes with that. And he was totally the opposite of that. He was just a sponge, trying to learn from the guys and he was the last guy in the dugout picking up equipment and paper cups, it was just unbelievable to see what type of person he is and the type of family he comes from. We’re really excited for him and excited to see what he can do.”
If Hall wanted to pursue a career in baseball full-time, Littlewood believes Hall would be a starter, an all-conference player, and a potential draft prospect. But Littlewood has always known that Hall was a football guy first and he supports that.
One of the best skill players in BYU’s football program
Along with Smith and Littlewood, the man who calls plays for the BYU offense, Jeff Grimes likes what he sees in Hall. Back in June at BYU football Media Day, Grimes said in a 1-on-1 on Cougar Tracks that Hall is one of the best skill players in the program. Grimes also noted how he impressed he was with the improvements in Hall’s game after being back a full year from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That praise from Grimes showed itself this season as Hall has been used in a variety of positions already through the first five weeks.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.