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BYU QB Competition ‘Becoming More Clear’ After Second Scrimmage Of Camp

Aug 21, 2021, 9:11 PM
Aaron Roderick - BYU Football...
BYU football offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick is all smiles at fall camp 2021. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU QB competition is getting close to being resolved. On Saturday, the Cougars participated in a closed scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium that nearly produced 100 plays.

The most notable thing out of the scrimmage was that it was one more step towards naming the next starting QB.

Second scrimmage was nearly 100 plays

“I like where we’re at. We’re in good shape. We’ve got a lot of work to do, though. We can’t take any days off at all; we’ve gotta keep progressing. But I feel good about where we are, and I like our team,” said Roderick after the scrimmage. “We’ve got some good skill players, we’ve got a good offensive line, and the quarterback position is starting to become more clear. I really like this team a lot.”

Throughout camp, Roderick has spoken glowingly about the talent he has at quarterback. Many fans and forecasters believe that redshirt sophomore Jaren Hall is the favorite to win the job. Still, the coaches have noted that these three signal-callers are making it difficult for them to make a decision.

What helps Hall and fellow sophomore Baylor Romney are that both are entering their fourth seasons with BYU. Thus, creating a unique situation for Roderick and his offensive staff, which gives them young players in terms of game snaps but are experienced in their knowledge of what Roderick wants from a QB.

It’s a nice luxury for BYU as they look to find the guy who will have the tall order of replacing a generational talent at quarterback in Zach Wilson, who’s now delivering crisp preseason performances with the New York Jets.

Romney is the calm, cool, poised quarterback who won’t force the issue unless asked to do so. Hall is a pass-first quarterback that has the best athleticism out of the three signal-callers.

Then there’s freshman Jacob Conover who once turned down Nick Saban and Alabama. Conover, who enrolled at BYU last September, has shown flashes that remind Roderick of a young Zach Wilson.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s a lot of separation between the quarterbacks, but we feel very good about the three quarterbacks,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “We have an idea of what we’re doing. We thought that one might be elevated over the rest but all three of them have elevated their game and we’re starting to see how this is going to shape up. I want to confirm it all with the film and communicate with the quarterbacks themselves.”

The decision is coming up soon, with less than two weeks until kickoff. And next week’s practices will be an indicator of what direction the offense is turning to.

BYU QB competition could be resolved early next week

“We’ve been going equal reps all the way up to [Saturday], and I’m getting close now to being ready just to divvy up those reps a little more,” said Roderick. “To give the starter, whoever is going to start the first game, give him a little more [reps]. It might be as soon as Monday; it would be Wednesday at the latest that we get to that.

Roderick added, “I think it’s becoming pretty clear and if you went and asked the players right now, they could probably tell ya. But they’ve battled hard, and they’ve all gotten better, but that picture is starting to clear up for us.”

BYU opens the 2021 season against Arizona in Las Vegas on September 4. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. (MT) on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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