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Previewing the 2021 Quarterback Battle

The race is on for the starting quarterback position at BYU.

On Friday, BYU starting quarterback Zach Wilson announced his plans to enter the NFL Draft. Now that the quarterback spot is wide open, here is a preview of the upcoming quarterback battle at BYU.

There are four returning players that will compete for the starting job:

1. Jaren Hall

Jaren Hall

We don't much data on Jaren Hall - Hall only started two games for BYU and he didn't finish either of those games. Jaren Hall looked very good as a Redshirt Freshman in limited reps. In 2019, he was 31/46 with 420 yards and 1 touchdown. He also added 139 yards on the ground averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Hall was a true dual-threat QB for BYU.

Hall put BYU in a position to win against South Florida in 2019 prior to leaving the game with a concussion.

I would argue that Hall's first half against Utah State was the best half by a BYU Quarterback in 2019. Hall was lights out gaining 268 yards of total offense. Hall was forced to leave the game at halftime after suffering a concussion on a touchdown run.

Hall missed the entire 2020 season with a hip injury. It's unclear when he will be completely healthy and whether he will be able to compete for the spot in spring ball.

2. Baylor Romney

Baylor Romney

Baylor Romney is 2-0 as the starting Quarterback and he played well in both of his appearances off the bench in 2019. At the end of the day, winning matters and Romney's results don't lie.

Romney led BYU to a win over an undefeated Boise State team where he threw for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 attempts. (ESPN) Most importantly, Romney didn't try to do too much in his first start. He made the plays that were available and avoided costly mistakes.

Against Liberty, Romney threw for 262 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. For a guy making his first two starts, those stats are really impressive.

Baylor Romney is seemingly unfazed by pressure. He made his first appearance in a BYU uniform against South Florida. He was immediately thrown into the fire - Romney's first drive starting with 7:37 remaining in the fourth quarter when BYU was down 23-27. (ESPN) Romney was seemingly unfazed by the pressure and led two BYU drives to give the Cougars the chance to win. BYU ultimately fell short, but Romney ended the game with 73 yards on 10 passing attempts.

One week later, Romney stepped on the field for the first time at Lavell Edwards and led BYU on an impressive touchdown drive in the freezing rain. 

Against Utah State, Romney came in during the second half and buried the Aggies. He pushed BYU's lead from 21-14 to 42-14 on 191 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. (ESPN)

Romney excelled at making a quick read and delivering the ball to the intended target in 2019. 

3. Jacob Conover

Jacob Conover Headshot

Jacob Conover, who signed with BYU as part of the 2019 recruiting class, has a fantastic chance to win the job. Conover was a four-star QB out of Arizona who always had a goal to play for BYU. I had a chance to catch up with Conover and talk about his recruitment to BYU over the Summer:

Conover prepped at Chandler High School where his top target was current BYU WR Gunner Romney. Conover received competing offers from the likes of Alabama, Ole Miss, and Arizona State. After winning multiple state championships in high school, Conover graduated early and left for a mission to Paraguay. After the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, Conover was evacuated and returned home to Arizona.

Conover's early return allowed him to enroll in classes and run the scout team this fall. According to multiple reports, Conover has looked great running the scout team. Now, Conover will try to become the quarterback of the future for BYU.

4. Sol-Jay Maiva

BYU Football Quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava

Sol- Jay Maiava is a Quarterback out of Washington D.C. who signed with BYU as part of the 2020 BYU Recruiting class. Before signing with BYU, Maiava had offers from programs around the country, receiving his first official offer in the 8th grade. After receiving his first offer, Maiava said that “everything changed”. He initially faced some obstacles that added pressure to his training going into high school. He said “people were saying, this is going to destroy him and stuff like that. But I always had my family there to uplift me and what not, and to make sure the hype wasn’t getting to my head. I needed to make sure that I worked with my Heavenly Father and always be grateful for everything He’s done for me.”

Maiava is an athletic quarterback who made some noise last fall camp.