Jaren Hall, Puka Nacua Plan To Play In BYU’s Bowl Game

Nov 19, 2022, 7:23 PM | Updated: Nov 20, 2022, 1:46 am
BYU Football, Jaren Hall...
BYU football QB Jaren Hall has not made any decision on what he will do after 2022, but he plans to play in the bowl game. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The futures of BYU stars Jaren Hall and Puka Nacua are still up in the air after the conclusion of the 2022 season. Both can return to BYU for the first season in the Big 12 Conference in 2023. But they also have the option to move on and begin their NFL careers.

After the game, the two stars participated in BYU’s Senior Day festivities at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Whether or not they go to the NFL, the two captains of this year’s BYU squad plan to play in BYU’s 2022 postseason bowl game. BYU clinched bowl eligibility on Saturday after they defeated Utah Tech.

When Hall, who passed for a career-high 456 yards in the 52-26 win, was asked by KSL Sports if he would play in whatever bowl game BYU gets slotted in, the second-year starter replied, “100%.”

Running back Christopher Brooks, who was also at the podium with Hall, also said he would “absolutely” play in the postseason game.

Puka Nacua went to the podium after the two backfield standouts and was asked the same question.

“I think that’s the plan. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but that’s a game scheduled for the Cougars, and that’s a game I’ll be playing in,” Nacua said.

Nacua said earlier in the week that he plans to decide his future after the Stanford game on November 26.

BYU football stars in the recent past have played in bowl games

Opt-outs in bowl games have become commonplace for high-profile college football players. But at BYU, they haven’t happened that often. There have been one or two guys, but the stars have always played.

Quarterback Zach Wilson participated in the Boca Raton Bowl against UCF in 2020 and shined passing for 400+ yards against the future Big 12 foe. Then he became the No. 2 overall pick for the New York Jets.

In addition, Tyler Allgeier set the BYU single-season rushing record by participating in the Independence Bowl last season against UAB.

Jaren Hall on talks with BYU coaches about his decision

During the pregame show of BYUtv’s Utah Tech broadcast, play-by-play announcer Dave McCann said that during his Friday meeting with BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick, Roderick told McCann and analyst Blaine Fowler that he “expected Hall to be back in 2023.”

KSL Sports asked Hall if he has communicated with the BYU coaches on his potential decision and what timeline he has given them.

“We’ve had some talks, talking through the pros and cons of every decision. But I haven’t made a decision. I’m a couple of weeks away,” Hall said Saturday night. “… So I haven’t made a decision yet. We’ll take some time and enjoy Stanford and the bowl game.”

BYU’s bowl game is still to be determined. However, we know that BYU will be placed in one of the ESPN Events postseason bowls as part of BYU’s television deal with ESPN.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch and his BYU/Utah Tech coverage on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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