UnRivaled: BYU Won’t Really Know Who Its QB Will Be Until A Game Is Played

Aug 19, 2021, 11:34 AM
BYU Football - QB...
BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick talks with the QBs vying to be the starter in 2021. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The BYU quarterback race is a fierce battle among the trio of Jaren Hall, Baylor Romney, and freshman Jacob Conover. As of now, it is a tight race for who will be the Cougars’ starter.

Regardless of who it is, head Kalani Sitake and offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick are not saying who that player will be.

Making the choice between three good quarterbacks is a good issue to have and Sitake feels like whoever he ends up picking to start Week 1 against Arizona will be ready to go.

As for when the starter will be announced, Sitake wants it done sooner than later but it definitely will be decided before game day on September 4 in Las Vegas against the Wildcats.

“If you’re having a difficult time like we are, that means that you’ve got a good group. So it’s two things, either you don’t have a good group, or you have a good group. And we feel like we have a lot of confidence in these three guys,” Sitake said. “We feel really comfortable with the guys that are behind them and the guys that we’re seeing improve and get better. So I feel really good about the whole room.”

“It’s just a matter of the guy winning out the spot outright. As long as they keep performing and doing well, and all three of them individually, then they’re going to make it really hard for us.”

This is a good problem to have but the team also needs to be able to prepare its starter in at least a handful of practices to be ready for the opener.

Will BYU Play Multiple Quarterbacks?

The Cougars will announce their quarterback but the team may not know who “their guy” is until there is actual football being played, football with stakes on the line, such as getting tackled, pressured, and hit.

These fall camp practices do not provide real action and the quarterbacks are protected for good reason. Conover, Hall or Romney will lead the team out of the tunnel at Allegiant Stadium to face Arizona and then after a few series, it will start to be known if BYU has found its quarterback.

KSLSports.com’s Scott Mitchell confidently said that BYU does know who the starter is but they still have to prove it on the field to keep that job.

“They totally know who the quarterback is. They will make a decision but it won’t matter,” Mitchell said. “Until they get into games and see how a guy really reacts in-game situations then they will find out. All of these guys to this point, except for Jacob Conover have been backups. These guys have all been backups, and all of a sudden you’re now thrust into the limelight.”

That first hit or that first mistake will go a long way in knowing that whoever the coaching staff chose is the person for the job. This is the only way BYU will truly know how good their next quarterback is and then the coaching staff can really judge the player since they’ve said all three quarterbacks are playing well in fall camp.

Mitchell goes onto say that whoever starts the first game will likely not be their permanent starter.

“I just feel it just has this smell to me that whoever BYU picks its quarterback is not going to be the quarterback all year long,” Mitchell said. “It’s just whether it’s injury, whether it’s in play, whatever it is, it just feels like this thing is not done even after it’s done.”

If BYU plays musical chairs at quarterback it might not bode well for the 2021 season, especially with the first three opponents being Power 5 teams that include rival Utah and Arizona State, who will be in the running to win the Pac-12 South.

The decision in picking a starting quarterback to replace Zach Wilson, who was taken No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft, is a daunting task. The player who takes over the position will have a lot of pressure on them, as will the coaching staff in making sure they pick the right guy.

Tune into KSL Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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UnRivaled: BYU Won’t Really Know Who Its QB Will Be Until A Game Is Played