Kalani Sitake: BYU ‘Close To Naming’ Starting QB For Navy Game

Aug 25, 2020, 2:39 PM | Updated: 2:45 pm
Zach Wilson - BYU...
BYU QB Zach Wilson during practice on August 25th, 2020. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – With less than two weeks until BYU kicks off the 2020 season against the Navy Midshipmen, one of the big questions heading into the season opener is who will start at quarterback?

Junior quarterback Zach Wilson returns with the most experience and seems to be the favorite to win the job. But BYU’s coaching staff has yet to make a decision. Whatever that decision ends up being, will be coming very soon.

“They’re (offensive staff) close to naming one. When we’re ready to do it. We’ll have it. We’ll have it out there but I think the guys have done a pretty good job,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake.

Wilson is competing with a pair of players in Baylor Romney and Jaren Hall who both saw action as starters last season. Three quarterbacks that have won as starters is a luxury very few teams can say they have. But it doesn’t stop there with BYU’s quarterback. Sitake believes they go four deep at the moment.

“I feel really good about four quarterbacks that can play for us right now,” Sitake said.

The fourth quarterback is Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters a true freshman from Washington, D.C. Maiava-Peters has received a few opportunities to get team reps during camp. Just in case BYU has to dig into their depth like the past three seasons, now there’s a foundation of knowledge as to what Maiava-Peters can do at quarterback.

But ultimately the conversation as to who will start centers on Wilson, Romney, and Hall. Wilson worked tirelessly in Utah and in California with former BYU great John Beck at 3DQB. Romney worked out with former Arizona State and NFL QB Rudy Carpenter to improve his game, and Jaren Hall is one of the program’s best athletes and could be used in a Taysom Hill-like role.

In last Thursday’s scrimmage, the final one of fall camp, Wilson was featured in numerous highlight-worthy moments. Including a laser-beam touchdown pass to running back Lopini Katoa.

This is Wilson’s first-year with a clean bill of health. Last year Wilson was recovering from shoulder surgery and a thumb injury. In his freshman season, Wilson was playing through shoulder pain. Now he’s healthy.

“Tremendously higher, not just me but the whole team,” said Wilson on his physical readiness for the 2020 season. “Personally, I feel like this is one of the biggest offseasons for me. I feel like I’ve been able to take my arm from being, you know, not only was it not 100 percent last year but now it’s 100 percent and its better than it was before surgery. I’d say that was probably the biggest for me is just having that off-season and that time. And then the time in the weight room, time with the boys, just going to lunch whether it’s hanging at football fields, throwing extra or whatever, I’d say we’re strides ahead than where we were last year.”

With a clean sheet of health, is that enough for Wilson to keep the job? We will find out soon enough.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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