College Football Predictor Tabs Jacob Conover As BYU’s Starting Quarterback

Jul 7, 2021, 2:28 PM
BYU Football - Jacob Conover...
BYU Football quarterback Jacob Conover in spring practice on March 1st, 2021. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – We are in the thick of prediction season for the upcoming college football campaign. For BYU fans, everyone wants to see the predictions for who will be the starting quarterback to replace Zach Wilson.

Many magazines and prognosticators are projecting either Jaren Hall or Baylor Romney to come away with the job.

But not everyone is sold on the upperclassmen.

Phil Steele, the creator of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview since 1995, projects true freshman Jacob Conover will win the job.

In Steele’s preview of BYU in 2021, he lists his “Projected Starting Lineup,” and Conover beats Jaren Hall, who Steele lists as the No. 2 QB.

Baylor Romney is Steele’s number three quarterback, who, like Hall, has started in two games during his BYU career.

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview 2021

For those who have read Steele’s magazines over the years, very highly touted prospects –or VHT’s– hold a lot of weight in position battles for Steele. So it doesn’t come as a complete surprise that Steele puts Conover, his PS#17 QB, over Hall and Romney, who have PS#71 and PS#158 respective rankings.

A PS# is a Phil Steele number. Steele’s PS# rankings are a composite of all the recruiting services he uses (247Sports, MaxPreps, etc.).

What makes Phil Steele’s prediction of Conover interesting is that Steele spent over “an hour plus” on BYU’s roster with head coach Kalani Sitake. Did Sitake give endless praise about Conover? It’s possible. Conover was terrific guiding the scout team last year against one of the nation’s top defenses.

Jacob Conover comes into the season as a true freshman. It’s impressive that he has earned the chance to make it a three-person race. But will he be good enough to become BYU’s first-ever freshman to start in a season-opener? Still, a lot of time to sort that out when fall camp starts on August 5th.

Phil Steele’s history of projecting BYU starting quarterbacks

Since 1995 in years where BYU has had a QB debate

1995: Steve Sarkisian

1997: Paul Shoemaker (Started against Washington, Kevin Feterik then came in)

2000: Bret Engemann

2002: Bret Engemann

2003: Matt Berry

2004: Matt Berry (Wrong. John Beck started in 2004.)

2007: Max Hall

2010: Jake Heaps (Wrong, but it was close. Riley Nelson started in the first drive against Washington. Heaps took snaps in the second drive)

2013: Taysom Hill

2016: Taysom Hill

2018: Tanner Mangum

2020: Zach Wilson

2021: Jacob Conover

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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College Football Predictor Tabs Jacob Conover As BYU’s Starting Quarterback