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BYU OC Aaron Roderick Embracing Challenge Of Getting Kedon Slovis To NFL

Mar 6, 2023, 11:56 AM | Updated: Mar 7, 2023, 9:49 am

PROVO, Utah – A giant spotlight will be on BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis. The former USC and Pitt signal-caller is a grad transfer into the BYU program for the 2023 season.

Slovis’ journey in college football is well documented. As an under-the-radar freshman at USC in 2019, he burst onto the scene setting a Pac-12 record for completion percentage at 71.9%. Then injuries and coaching uncertainty derailed his time at USC.

The one year at Pitt last season produced career-low numbers for Slovis in his college career.

Is Kedon Slovis capable of a bounceback at BYU? BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick believes so. The third-year OC for the Cougars said Slovis was his number-one target in the transfer portal. So clearly, there’s a belief from BYU coaches in what Slovis can do in this BYU offense.

Slovis steps in at BYU as the clear favorite to win the starting job and continue BYU’s string of producing NFL QBs in Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall.

Roderick sees Kedon Slovis having a rebound performance at BYU

“Well, there’s a few reasons,” Roderick told the KSL Sports Zone’s DJ & PK, why he believes Slovis can have a bounceback at BYU. “The first one is, I just view it as, our job as coaches is, you know, we’ve seen him at his best, and then it’s our job to get him back to that level or higher. I welcome that challenge. I’m excited about that. We’ve all seen what he can do, so let’s get him back there. That’s the first thing.

“And then, secondly, we watch every single game he’s played in college in detail. I had assistant coaches that watched it with me, and we got in-depth. Then we also do a lot of homework about the circumstances surrounding the situation as well. During the COVID year, he played really good football. He was playing as well or better than he did as a freshman but only got five games. … Then that last year [at USC], there was coaching drama going on. He had an injury that he was dealing with. He was trying to play through an injury, and he wasn’t healthy, wasn’t as effective with the injury, and then eventually ended up not being able to play at all. And then they made the coaching change and Jaxson Dart got his chance and there was just a lot of stuff going on there that I don’t think is really a clear reflection of how good of a player he is.”

What Roderick saw last year in the Pitt film

Roderick also broke down the dynamics that went into causing Slovis to have an underwhelming 10 touchdown passes and nine interceptions.

“Then he goes to Pittsburgh, thinking he’s going to play for Coach [Mark] Whipple, who’s one of the best coordinators in the country and had just had this awesome season with Kenny Pickett. And he had the Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver (Jordan Addison) and he gets there and the OC leaves and the receiver goes to USC. It’s not exactly what he had signed up for and all of a sudden they’re in a new offense where he’s under center all the time. I just don’t think it was an accurate reflection of how good of a player he still is. So we’re super excited about him. He’s an awesome kid and a really good passer.”

Slovis on BYU’s staff: “We aligned really well”

Like Wilson and Hall, Slovis has his eyes set on the NFL. After his freshman season at USC, NFL draft analysts viewed Slovis as a potential first-round quarterback in the future. He has a COVID year of eligibility he could use after 2023 if he wishes to do so, but getting to the league is an important piece as to why Slovis picked BYU.

 

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A post shared by Kedon Slovis (@kedonslovis)

“A-Rod actually came out to visit me while I was still in Pittsburgh during finals. That went really well. I think we aligned really well,” Kedon Slovis told KSL Sports in January. “You know, immediately, I was like, man, this is a guy I really want to play for. Same talking to Matt [Mitchell]. Just guys that I feel really comfortable with and I think also understand my skill set, and I think we can we can do good things with it.”

What role did NIL play for Kedon Slovis to BYU?

Name, Image, and Likeness is often brought up in the recruitment of high-profile transfers, but Roderick said Slovis looked at BYU beyond NIL opportunities. A piece to Slovis picking BYU was the fact that the Cougars are getting prepared for their first season in the Big 12 Conference.

“He was highly coveted. The first day that the Transfer Portal opened, he had what you’d call, I guess, blue bloods or whatever. He had at least two SEC offers that I know of that both involved NIL money and the whole deal. They were big-time programs, talking about a couple of places that won national championships. There were a couple of Pac-12 schools that really wanted him. A couple of Big Ten schools that really wanted him. And all of these places involved NIL money and the whole deal.

“When I went to see him, what he said to me, right off the bat, was, ‘your quarterbacks have thrown for 37 touchdowns a year, single-digit picks the last three years. I need to do that more than I need to go to this place or that place and make this much money or whatever.’ And he said, ‘now you’re in the Big 12, that’s the stage to do it.’ So he had done his homework. He knew what was important to him.”

NFL is the goal

Slovis will have a Big 12 schedule that includes defending National Runner-Up TCU, Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma to prove how big of a bounceback he has made as he pursues the dream of the NFL.

“He said, ‘I want to play in the NFL.’ And that’s his goal,” said Roderick. “That’s my goal to help him try to get there. I think it’s very achievable goal and I think being in the Big 12 puts us on a level, where if we’re not, I don’t know if he’s saying those things to us. And he’s probably taking one of those chances in the Big Ten or the SEC or something like that. So I think definitely [Big 12] was a factor.”

The first glimpse of Slovis in the BYU offense occurs in spring ball. BYU’s spring practices run from March 6 and go until April 14.

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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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BYU OC Aaron Roderick Embracing Challenge Of Getting Kedon Slovis To NFL