Kedon Slovis Will Join Unique Group Of BYU Football Quarterbacks

Jul 19, 2023, 2:39 PM

PROVO, Utah – When Kedon Slovis takes the first snap for BYU against Sam Houston on September 2, he will join a unique group of Cougar quarterbacks.

That’s signal-callers who have transferred from another Division I program to go on to start in a game at BYU.

Slovis will become only the fourth passer in BYU’s storied quarterback factory that can claim he didn’t start his collegiate career in Provo.

The others include Riley Nelson (Utah State), Max Hall (Arizona State), and Steve Clements (Texas).

Kedon Slovis will be the fourth FBS transfer QB to start at BYU

There have been situations like Taysom Hill, who signed with Stanford out of high school, but never enrolled on the Farm. Stanford didn’t allow freshmen to enroll in the winter, so after Hill served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he left for BYU, which allowed him to enroll right after the mission.

There have also been junior college transfers like Steve Sarkisian, who came in from El Camino Junior College. But Slovis, who was previously at USC and Pitt, is only the fourth to be on another FBS roster and then come to BYU.

Out of the four, Slovis is the first graduate transfer to start at BYU. What once was taboo for quarterbacks to bounce around teams has now become quite common in college football. Who knows, maybe BYU will become the hot spot for transfers at quarterback in the future. Based on transfer portal activity this past winter and NIL mixing in, there’s no slowing down player movement in the sport.

Adding Slovis was a needed pickup for a BYU quarterback unit that doesn’t have a QB that’s played a snap in a game for Roderick. All quarterbacks that played in a game last year are now gone from the program (Jaren Hall, Jacob Conover, Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters).

Slovis viewed BYU as a ‘no-brainer’

Being in the Big 12 played a part in Kedon Slovis coming to BYU. But as he told the KSL Sports Zone last week at Big 12 Media Days in Texas, he would have picked BYU whether they were Independent or Big 12.

That’s because he likes the situation BYU creates for their quarterbacks. The last two starting QBs at BYU, Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall, each were selected in the NFL Draft. Roderick is excited about the challenge of getting Slovis back on draft boards.

“I want to have a great year,” Kedon Slovis said to the KSL Sports Zone. “My goal is to get drafted and have the best chance to have success in the next level. To me, Zach and Jaren had that opportunity. Zach played in a year where they didn’t really get to play the best teams that BYU usually plays. And Jaren got to play plenty of great teams in Independence. So I think for me, it was more about the situation. Then I was like, ‘Oh, you’re gonna be in the Big 12, too?’ So I was like, that’s not even a question mark about competition and stuff. To me, [going to BYU] was a no-brainer.”

Transfer QBs that went on to start for BYU football

Here’s a look back at how the previous FBS transfer quarterbacks that started in a game at BYU have fared.

Riley Nelson

Years at BYU: 2009-2012

Transferred from Utah State

Nelson transferred to BYU from Utah State after his mission in 2009. It was a controversial transfer at the time that even brought an NCAA bylaw. Nelson was the backup to Max Hall for one year. Then in 2011, he took over the full-time starting role from heralded recruit Jake Heaps.

Nelson started 19 games in his career.

Max Hall

Years at BYU: 2006-2009

Transferred from Arizona State

Hall redshirted his freshman season at Arizona State. He was in the same recruiting class as former Sun Devil Rudy Carpenter. After his mission, Hall transferred to BYU and became the winningest quarterback in program history, racking up 32 wins.

Hall is also the last starting quarterback at BYU to guide the Cougars to a conference championship. That was when BYU was in the Mountain West Conference.

Steve Clements

Years at BYU: 1991-1994

Transferred from Texas

A native of Huntsville, Texas, Clements will see Slovis play his hometown team, Sam Houston, take on his alma mater, BYU, on September 2.

When Clements arrived at BYU in 1991, he had the chance to watch Ty Detmer up close during Detmer’s senior year as the defending Heisman Trophy winner. He battled with John Walsh for the starting quarterback job.

Walsh ultimately won the job. Clements got his first career start in 1992 in relief of an injured Walsh at Hawaii. But on the second series of the game, Clements separated his left shoulder. He went on to start in one more game the following year against Fresno State.

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’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Kedon Slovis Will Join Unique Group Of BYU Football Quarterbacks