BYU’s Jaren Hall will be making history when he takes the school’s first snap against South Florida.
Hall is starting in place of the injured Zach Wilson at QB for the Cougars on Saturday. And when he does he’ll be the school’s first black starting quarterback.
“Very proud of my ancestors, very proud of my history and all the things that come with that, so it’s an honor to be here and a privilege to be playing at this wonderful university,” Hall said Tuesday.
Hall became the first African American QB to play for BYU in 2018 when he saw action against Boise State. His father Kalin was a running back at the school in the 1990s.
“BYU is a very special school and there’s all individuals from different lifestyles who play into why it’s so special,” Hall said.
Wilson, the team’s starting quarterback since the middle of the 2018 season, will be sidelined for a while after suffering a thumb injury in the Cougars’ loss to Toledo on Sept. 28. He’s reportedly expected to miss up to eight weeks, meaning Hall will have a chance at significant playing time in the near future.
Hall, a Utah native and redshirt freshman, was a member of BYU’s 2016 recruiting class but enrolled in 2018 after going on his mission. He had four carries for four yards in 2018 and is 4-of-7 passing for 58 yards in 2019. According to KSL, he’s also set to be the school’s first dual-sport starting quarterback since 1992. Hall plays baseball for the Cougars.
“He’ll be the first quarterback to start from Maple Mountain High School too so, if you’re going to draw up all those comparisons,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said when he was asked about the significance of Hall starting on Saturday. “I think it’s awesome that you’re seeing so many different types of quarterbacks whether it’s backgrounds or race or whatever is involved I just like that the game of football as you’ve seen. It’s been 150 years now and we’ve seen a lot of cool things happen. We have Polynesians playing quarterback too and a lot of crazy things are happening now.
“You have 300 pounders play quarterback in the past. So I think if you ask all our [offensive] linemen they think they can play quarterback and half of our defensive linemen but that’s kind of like the position everybody likes to play first. And I’m glad that Jaren was able to get this start and that he’s excited for it. He’s a legacy kid, his dad spilled his blood and sweat on that field as well. I think it’s a cool connection that he can have. I don’t know how many father-son combos have happened in this program in the backfield.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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