Steve Young Weighs In On BYU Football’s Anticipated Quarterback Battle

Jun 8, 2021, 2:39 PM | Updated: 3:18 pm
Steve Young - ESPN...
HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 04: ESPN analyst Steve Young broadcasts before the AFC Wild Card Playoff game between the Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills at NRG Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – The starting quarterback battle for BYU football in 2021 has the makings to be historic. Will it be Jaren Hall or Baylor Romney? Or will true freshman Jacob Conover pull off the upset and win the job?

It’s going to be fascinating to see who emerges and takes over the shoes left behind by Zach Wilson.

Those shoes left by Wilson are massive to fill. There aren’t many who can speak on stepping in for a generational talent, but one guy who can is Steve Young. Young, a generational talent of his own at BYU and a Pro Football Hall of Famer, replaced Jim McMahon in 1982. Massive shoes for Young to replace as McMahon rewrote the NCAA record books.

If anyone knows a thing or two on what these three QBs are going through, it’s Young.

Young was on KSL Sports’ Cougar Sports Saturday recently and shared a message that he would give this year’s BYU quarterbacks.

Steve Young to BYU QBs: Don’t react

“First of all, don’t react. Even into yourself, don’t react to people who want you to compare. …You have to let Zach be great,” Young said. “And you might know the weaknesses of Zach’s game that you want to yell out. You have to just let Zach be great. And let it be. Let it settle on you. It’s okay.

“Baylor, how do you play? Jaren, how do you play? How do you go be great? And take every inch of what Zach did as a reference. Like, ‘I really appreciate what Zach did, I really appreciate what he taught me, I really appreciate watching him, and he truly helped my game.’ But yet, you gotta go make your own space. The offense is going to give them a shot at being great.”


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Last year, BYU’s offense finished sixth nationally in total offense (522.2 yards per game) and third in scoring offense (43.5 points). Wilson, wide receiver Dax Milne and offensive tackle Brady Christensen are off to the NFL, but many of the players part of that high-powered attack are back.

The new quarterback, whoever it ends up being, has one of the nation’s top running backs returning in Tyler Allgeier. A budding star at tight end in Isaac Rex. And a wide receiver room that pairs experience in Gunner Romney and Neil Pau’u with immediate impact transfers Puka and Samson Nacua.

Calling all the shots is Aaron Roderick as BYU’s offensive coordinator. Roderick was instrumental in the development of Zach Wilson as a quarterback. He’s worked with Hall, Romney, and Conover, every step of the way since they stepped foot on campus.

With all of that in mind, Young likes what BYU’s offense can become for the next quarterback.

BYU football has an offense that provides a “shot”

“We have an offense, like last year, that will give the quarterback an opportunity to thrive,” said Young. “As like the challenge Stephen Covey gave to me back in the day on an airplane when he says, ‘Do you want to see how good you can get?’ And I remember saying, ‘yes, I want to find out.’ He goes, ‘it’s a risk. It’s a risk to find out how good you are; you might find out you’re not as good as you thought.’ I was like, ‘it’s okay. I just want a shot.’

“And BYU’s offense today is a shot at seeing what the full measure of a quarterback can be. That’s all you can ask for.”

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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