COUGAR TRACKS

QB Kedon Slovis Explains How BYU Has Fit Perfectly For Him

Aug 29, 2023, 11:01 PM | Updated: 11:23 pm

PROVO, Utah – Quarterback Kedon Slovis probably never envisioned he would be finishing his college career at BYU.

Once the star signal-caller at USC, who experienced defeat inside LaVell Edwards Stadium, Slovis will be in the home team locker room in that same stadium for the first time on Saturday night against Sam Houston (8:15 p.m., FS1, KSL NewsRadio).

Since Slovis arrived on campus in Provo after turning down offers from SEC programs that were contending for national championships, Notre Dame and UCLA, to name a few. He’s felt like a perfect fit at BYU.

To the point where many, including BYU coach Kalani Sitake, say it feels like Slovis has been around the program for years.

Feels like Kedon Slovis has been around BYU for years

What caused that?

“It’s a good question,” said Slovis. “I kind of ask myself that from time to time, but it just worked.”

Slovis has witnessed the big lights of a place like Los Angeles during his college career. He nearly met NBA superstar LeBron James through the agency that represents Slovis, Klutch Sports. But that meet-up was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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The stage at BYU isn’t as bright as at USC, but it definitely isn’t dimming on QBs either. The history of the quarterback position holds a lot of significance to BYU faithful.

Slovis, who is the first non-Latter-day Saint starting QB at BYU since 1999, hopes to be the next successful star QB at BYU. To have the success he’s shooting for, he needs an entire team moving in the same direction as him. Slovis feels he has that this season and it’s why his decision to come to Provo has been perfect for him.

“I think looking at my teammates and the coaching staff, I feel like we’re just so similar as people and our values and what we value in a competitive environment and football environment. And off the field, too,” said the former USC and Pitt QB. “What kind of people are we off the field? What do we like to do? What do we value? Do we value helping others and do we value being selfless? All these people in the building and all my teammates are super selfless. They don’t have too big of an ego; they work for the team. And they do things that I would consider and what they would probably consider as, you know, the right way. They’re great people.”

Final year in college

Slovis is entering his final year in college football. He turned down a Senior Bowl invite last season to take advantage of one final season to fulfill his goal of making the NFL.

Slovis gives BYU a starting quarterback with 37 starts at the Power Five level as the Cougars enter their first year as a Big 12 team. He’s only 27 yards away from eclipsing 10,000 career passing yards.

It didn’t go well last season during Slovis’ one year at Pittsburgh. He initially thought he would step into the spotlight left behind by first-round NFL draft pick Kenny Pickett. Instead, the offensive coordinator he expected to play for was let go, and Pitt’s top receiver, Jordan Addison, was off to USC.

Slovis finished his one season at Pitt with nearly the same amount of interceptions (nine) as touchdown passes (10).

Since his departure, Pitt players and coaches, without saying Slovis’s name, feel they lacked leadership from him.

BYU football coaches have been impressed with Kedon Slovis

Fast forward to a long eight months since Slovis committed to BYU, Sitake is speaking a far different tune.

“He’s more,” Sitake said on Monday when asked if Slovis is everything he expected from him when pursuing him out of the Transfer Portal.

The eighth-year head coach at BYU added, “I think we knew what he could do on the field. It’s the things that they probably don’t put on paper or can’t see on film: the little things he does in leadership. Then we saw there was something special about him once we saw him interact with the team. Then we just let him do it.”

BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick has said that Slovis was his number-one target among transfer portal quarterbacks in the 2023 cycle. Slovis already had a strong knowledge of BYU’s offense from his work with former BYU star John Beck at 3DQB in California and his run-ins with former BYU stars Zach Wilson and Jaren Hall.

Slovis on BYU: “Always what I’ve wanted”

Roderick and Slovis have formed a tandem that sees eye-to-eye on what they want out of this BYU offense in its first year as a Big 12 team.

“The way things are brought to me and, you know, the expectations that Coach Roderick and Kalani have for me is not beyond my capabilities. It’s just me doing my job,” Slovis said. “I feel like to me, if I execute the offense and do what I’m supposed to do and capable of doing, it’s going to take care of itself. Obviously, I want to please the fan base and the coaches and the teammates around me, but just the way [the offense] has been brought about and what is expected of me is super capable. Again, I think it brings out my strengths. So I feel very confident I’ll be able to do that.”

How Slovis plays in games is what many on the outside will determine if he was successful at BYU or not. For him, the experience in Provo thus far has been a success already.

“I think for me, it’s kind of always what I’ve wanted to be a part of culturally in a football organization and just in life. So I think for me, it’s been easy. I didn’t really expect to see that level of maturity and from everybody in the program. Again, I think it’s allowed us to really work seamlessly and allow me to fit in and feel comfortable being myself. It really has been a blessing.”

BYU vs. Sam Houston

Date: Saturday, September 2, 2023

Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium (Provo, Utah)

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m.

TV: FS1

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

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 in the Big 12 Conference on X (Twitter) and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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QB Kedon Slovis Explains How BYU Has Fit Perfectly For Him