What Makes Jaren Hall An Intriguing Option For BYU At Quarterback

Aug 3, 2021, 4:22 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm
BYU Football Uniforms...
BYU Football quarterback Jaren Hall displays new satin navy blue helmet. (Photo courtesy of BYU Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of BYU Athletics)

PROVO, Utah – Fall camp is right around the corner for the BYU Cougars football team and there is still a decision to be made at quarterback. Here’s why Jaren Hall is the front runner.

Without a doubt the biggest storyline in camp will be which quarterback wins the starting job against the Arizona Wildcats.

Baylor Romney, Jaren Hall, and Jacob Conover are the three signal callers locked in a fierce battle to be the next BYU QB.

Romney has played the most football of the three for BYU, but Jaren Hall flashed signs of being a great player in limited action back in 2019.

Jaren Hall makes first career start against South Florida

Not only was this his first career start, it was the first start by a quarterback of African-American descent in the history of BYU football.

Hall played well as a redshirt freshman before leaving the game with a concussion early in the 4th quarter.

He finished the game completing 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown pass. Hall added 110 rushing yards on 16 carries with a rushing touchdown.

Here are a few plays from that game highlighting his unique skillset.

1. First pass of the game to Talon Shumway

This might look like an ordinary play, and for the most part, it is.

What impresses me on his first pass of the game though is the timing and velocity on the pass to Talon Shumway.

Hall is throwing from the far hash mark to the sideline in front of the BYU coaches.

Passes like this can be picked off if not thrown accurately. That wasn’t an issue for Hall throughout this entire game.

2. Touchdown pass to Dax Milne

It’s first down from the South Florida 35 yard line. Jeff Grimes dials up a play call that requires the quarterback to read the safety.

In the slot, Aleva Hifo opens up the sideline by drawing the safety towards the middle of the field.

Hall waits long enough for Milne to clear the safety before taking a shot down the field.

His patience pays off and the pass was right on the money. An under-thrown pass is likely intercepted, Hall has yet to make that mistake as a BYU quarterback.

3. Longest run of the game for Jaren Hall

The dual threat ability from Hall is one reason coaches had him take snaps away from Zach Wilson earlier in the season.

They hoped he could provide a spark like Taysom Hill provided as a Freshman against Washington State.

It didn’t pan out quite like Hill, but there’s no denying that Hall can gash opponents in the open field like he did on this third down conversion in the third quarter.

It’s critical that Hall avoids unnecessary hits when running the football, but you can’t ignore his ability to make plays with his legs.

4. Jaren Hall fires a laser to Gunner Romney

This is my favorite play from Hall in the loss to South Florida.

Hall moved up into the pocket before rocketing a pass down the middle of the field to Gunner Romney.

He made multiple plays like this throughout the game. His ability to move around the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield is a underrated skillset.

What impresses me the most is the accuracy on this pass while on the move. This is an NFL caliber throw.

Hall displayed all the tools necessary to be a successful starting quarterback against the Bulls.

There’s no arguing his accuracy, arm strength, running speed, and command of the offense after re-watching this game.

I’m more impressed with this performance than the first half against Utah State.

The offensive line was injured, and quite frankly, not good enough. Hall was sacked five times while being flushed out of the pocket several more times.

It’s my belief that BYU wins this football game if Hall doesn’t leave with the concussion.

Hall starts against Utah State after returning from injury

Baylor Romney replaced Hall in the 4th quarter against South Florida and then engineered the biggest win of the season the following week against ranked Boise State.

Hall felt good enough to return to the starting lineup the following week on the road against Utah State.

Without a doubt, this was the best offensive performance by BYU in 2019.

1. Hall starts the game with a long ball to Shumway

Backed up in their own red-zone, Hall saw the sideline open on his first completion of the game to Shumway.

This pass shouldn’t have been completed, but the accuracy of the pass allowed Shumway to make a play.

It’s a dangerous throw that could have led to a turnover if not executed properly.

Hall stands in the pocket, taking a hit shortly after releasing the ball. He’s unable to follow through on the pass, making the accuracy of the pass even more impressive.

2. Hall throwing on the move

Later in the opening drive, Hall converts two third downs on passing plays where he escaped the pocket.

The first pass is a designed rollout away from his throwing arm. This is a difficult throw on the move and Hall finds Hifo with an accurate pass.

It’s a little low, but because it’s in front of Hifo, it allowed him to get up field for the first down.

The second pass showcases Hall’s ability to sense pressure in the pocket. He feels a defensive end closing in on his blindside, rolls out to the right while keeping his eyes downfield, and delivers an accurate pass to Simon cutting across the middle of the field. M

3. Matt Bushman makes an incredible catch

This is easy the biggest “what if” play in Hall’s career up to this point.

What happens if this play stands? Does Hall finish the game? The season? Does he take the job away from Zach Wilson?

These are all questions that will never be answered, but one thing is for certain. If this play stands as a touchdown, Hall is not injured in the ensuing play.

It’s a shame this wasn’t a touchdown for several reasons.

First, what a catch by Bushman. How he manages to keep his foot in bound is what made him special.

Second, tremendous touch on the pass from Hall to allow Bushman the chance to make this play.

Hall displayed an impressive repertoire of passes against the Aggies that should encourage BYU fans about his potential heading into 2021.

Health is no longer an issue for Jaren Hall

Hall missed all of 2020 due to an injury that is no longer a concern. Even though he didn’t see the field, he still found ways to improve as a player.

“It was as if I was still healthy and playing. I was at every meeting, every lift, every team activity,” said Hall recently on Cougar Sports Saturday.

“I still feel like I was a part of the team. I was still learning as if I was a quarterback in the meeting room. That’s how I took the approach last year to be involved.”

It’s hard not to be impressed with Hall who’s now in his 4th year with the BYU Cougars football team.

He spent the offseason working with Dustin Smith and John Beck while preparing to win the quarterback job.

Hall also became a first time father during the summer with his wife Bre.

“Everybody has an opportunity,” said Hall. “When you’re given that opportunity you have to make the most of it.”

The individual opportunity is now and the collective pieces are in place for Hall to lead the Cougars into the next era of BYU Football.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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