Unrivaled: What Does Jaxson Dart’s Visit Mean For BYU Football?

Jan 21, 2022, 11:48 AM
Jaxson Dart - USC Trojans...
Quarterback Jaxson Dart #2 of USC Trojans during the Spring Showcase football game in front of approximately 5,000 spectators at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)
(Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Earlier this week former Corner Canyon and USC quarterback Jaxson Dart made a surprise visit to BYU.

He is in the process of deciding where to continue his college career. The former five-star had been considering Oklahoma and Ole Miss.

His visit to the Rebels was documented on Twitter with head coach Lane Kiffin and Dart posing in front of an Aston Martin.

The Rebels are in need of a new quarterback with Matt Corral off to the NFL, and Dart could step into a quarterback-friendly system that would allow him to show off his skills.

His trip to Norman, Oklahoma, had Dart pose with Oklahoma gear. If Dart wanted to walk in and be a starter, the Sooners could not guarantee that as former UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel recently committed to Oklahoma. So, there would likely be a QB battle.

However, that tweet about his visit to Oklahoma is his most recent post and there is nothing about his visit to BYU. So, was this just a courtesy visit to Provo since BYU was the first school to offer Dart out of high school? Scott Mitchell and Alex Kirry of KSL Unrivaled weighed in on that question.

Could Aaron Roderick Be The Key?

The visit was seemingly out of the blue but BYU has been all over Dart dating back to when he was at Roy High School as a sophomore and Aaron Roderick saw promise in him at a BYU camp.

“He came to our camp, I think it was after our sophomore year, and he just threw the ball really well in our camp. Just an accurate guy that threw the ball well,” Roderick said about Dart leading up to the USC game this past year. “When you do this long enough, you can tell within a few minutes usually which ones are the guys that have a chance to play at this level. He stood out right away at our camp.”

There is a relationship from the recruiting period but now it seems like a tall task for the Cougars to land the former Trojan.

However, Jeff Hansen of Cougar Insider Report joined Unrivaled to discuss the visit and noted that the two sides have been in constant contact since the moment he entered the transfer portal. Perhaps the Cougars have a shot?

“People around BYU had maintained contact with Jackson Dart from the minute he entered the portal. They talked every day all the way up until yesterday when he had his visit,” Hansen said. “So was it a surprise for BYU fans? I think so. But I don’t think that BYU themselves were surprised at all. I think they expected this. Was it a courtesy visit? I mean, maybe, but it felt like it was part of the plan for the coaches. It felt like if Jackson was going to make a decision and it was really OU or Ole miss. Why even bother wasting anybody’s time at BYU?”

“He may not choose BYU in the end, but it does feel like this was part of the plan. It just didn’t get talked about on those national headlines.”

Even if BYU doesn’t land Dart, it is impressive that they were able to have him for a visit. 

This BYU team was ranked in the top 25 in each of the last two seasons, won double-digit games in 2020 and 2021, and just a year ago had the No. 2 player taken in the NFL Draft with Zach Wilson going to the New York Jets.

Ole Miss did go to the Sugar Bowl this past year and Corral is expected to be one of the first few quarterbacks taken in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Oklahoma has developed Heisman-caliber quarterbacks, but that was under Lincoln Riley who is now at USC. The jury is still out how new Sooners head coach Brent Venables will be at developing quarterbacks. He has been a defensive coach throughout his career.

BYU Can Never Have Too Much Talent

The transfer portal is a new beast in college athletics. Coaches and players are grasping to understand its full potential and pitfalls. BYU has used this new free movement of players to bring in talent like Puka Nacua.

Players are always looking for the best fit for them and teams are always looking to either add talent for an immediate impact or for the future. BYU does have a starting quarterback in Jaren Hall but that should not preclude Kalani Sitake and this Cougars staff from trying to land an elite quarterback.

No team can say they have too much talent. There is a reason that blue-chip programs are always going after five-star talent in each and every recruiting cycle even at the same position. So, why in the world would BYU be any different?

“Teams like Alabama, they had Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones on their roster and they still went out and recruited Tua Tagovailoa,” Hansen said. “If Alabama is still trying to get as much talent as they possibly can, why in the world wouldn’t BYU? Why would they be the school that throws their hands up and say, ‘no we’re full, we’re good.’

“I don’t know why, for whatever reason, BYU fans are incredibly loyal to their guys. BYU has talent on the roster. Jaren Hall is great. Jacob Conover has some potential and a bright future, but you don’t turn away guys like Jaxson Dart. I mean, there’s a very reasonable argument to be made that he’s the best of those three today. Even if you don’t believe that he certainly has the potential to be the future for BYU down the road.”

Even if BYU doesn’t land Dart,  it seems a long shot at the moment, but being in the conversation for this elite of an athlete can only be good for the program with better and better players looking at the Cougars football program.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-7 p .m. on 1280 The Zone and 97.5 FM or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Unrivaled: What Does Jaxson Dart’s Visit Mean For BYU Football?