Kalani Sitake Remains Patient For BYU QB Jaren Hall’s Decision
PROVO, Utah – When will BYU quarterback Jaren Hall announce his future?
The star signal-caller for the Cougars has a big decision to make. Does he take advantage of the extra year of eligibility caused by the COVID season in 2020, or does he move on to the NFL?
Kalani Sitake is not rushing Jaren Hall
Regardless of when Hall makes his formal announcement, a move he has joked that the media would know last, BYU coach Kalani Sitake will patiently wait.
“For me, it’s exciting because he’s not decided yet that he’s leaving. So that means there’s a chance that he’s coming back,” Sitake said about Hall to KSL Sports. “So I just think that if he needs time, then that’s great. I don’t want to put him on a deadline because if there’s a chance that he could come back, then that’s the guy we want.”
At the latest, a decision has to come from Hall by January 9. That’s the first day of class at BYU for the winter semester. It also begins the winter conditioning program for the 2023 season.
The official deadline set by the NFL for early entrants into the draft is January 16.
Hall passed for 3,171 yards and tossed 31 touchdown passes to only six interceptions. He completed 66% of his 376 pass attempts in 12 games played during the 2022 season.
Sitake feels good about the rest of BYU’s quarterbacks
Hall missed BYU’s New Mexico Bowl due to an ankle injury he suffered in the regular season finale against Stanford on November 26. In replace of Hall was Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, a dual-threat quarterback who showcased his ability to run. Along with Maiava, BYU also returns Cade Fennegan and walk-on Nick Billoups.
“We also feel good about the rest of the group,” said Sitake.
During the early signing period that opened up on Wednesday, BYU signed Springville High QB Ryder Burton. He is set to enroll on January 9.
“What I was impressed with the most about [Burton] is just the obvious arm talent. Even when he was a young guy coming to our camps, he came to every camp we’ve held in recent memory. He’s a really smooth, effortless thrower,” said BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick on Wednesday. “He has a strong arm, he’s accurate, fast release, all the things you look for in a thrower. He’s a pure thrower. That’s what stood out from the start.”
BYU continues to pursue Transfer Portal QBs
If Hall foregoes his final year of eligibility for the NFL, BYU will need to act quickly in the Transfer Portal to bring another quarterback into the fold. Former USC and Pitt quarterback Kedon Slovis recently took a visit to Provo.
Along with Slovis, BYU’s offensive staff and analysts have been hard at work evaluating nearly every quarterback that has entered the portal. In an effort to have the best possible quarterback room entering BYU’s first year in the Big 12.
“We feel good about the interest we’re gaining,” said Sitake. “There’s a lot of people that are waiting to see what [Jaren]’s going to decide to do. That’ll tell us if certain guys are going to join us through the Transfer Portal or not. But even with that being said, we have a good group of young men that can throw the ball and some others we’re looking to add. That’s regardless of whether he decides to come back or leave. That talent in the quarterback room is going to be really nice.”
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 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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