Utah native and former USC QB Jaxson Dart entered the transfer portal on January 10. Oklahoma and Ole Miss appeared to be the two front runners after Dart visited both schools, but BYU is back in the mix after Dart made a surprise visit to Provo on Wednesday. Jaxson’s younger brother Diesel posted photos on Instagram from the visit. Jaxson shared the post on his Instagram story.
BYU was the first school to offer Dart back in high school and figured to be in the mix due to Kalani Sitake’s and Aaron Roderick’s long-standing relationship with Jaxson and his family.
Dart was a consensus 4-star recruit coming out of high school, but 247 Sports re-ranked him as a 5-Star recruit and the #3 overall transfer once he entered the transfer portal.
Dart prepped at Roy High School (Utah) before transferring to Corner Canyon his senior year. He had arguably the best high school player as a senior, when he named as the 2020 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, Max Preps National Player of the Year, and Sports Illustrated All-American first team. That season he threw for 4,691 yards and a state-record 67 TDs with 4 interceptions and ran for 1,195 yards on 128 carries (9.3 avg) with 12 TDs. Corner Canyon was undefeated in 2020 and won the state 6A title.
Dart played in 6 games for USC last season and showed flashes of brilliance. He passed for 1,353 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. His first college action came he stepped in for Kedon Slovis at Washington State, who suffered an injury in the first quarter, and threw for 391 yards and 4 TDs in a 45-14 USC win. Dart was USC’s starting QB versus BYU and threw for 248 yards, threw 1 TD, ran for another, and had zero turnovers.
How Realistic Are BYU’s Chances?
Earlier this week I would’ve told you BYU was out of it. Jaxson seemed like he was onto Oklahoma and Ole Miss. Dart will be immediately eligible to play next season, but BYU already has Jaren Hall at QB. Hall had a fantastic season, and although Jaxson has the talent to push Jaren and even beat him out, he would be stepping into a intense QB competition.
The two biggest things BYU has going for it are 1) BYU coaches’ relationship with Dart and 2) the chance for Dart to play close to home. It also doesn’t hurt that Zach Wilson, who prepped at Corner Canyon before Dart, was a number two pick in the NFL draft under Roderick and Jaren Hall is on NFL Draft boards.
Roderick and Kalani have been recruiting Jaxson for years. Ole Miss and Oklahoma’s staffs just started this month. Family is also a big deal to Jaxson, as evidenced by taking a photo shoot at BYU with his little brother.
If you also want a little smoke, USC tight end Michael Tregg posted the below post on his Instagram story. Tregg was Jaxson’s roommate at USC and both visited OU and Ole Miss together and whom may thought to be a package deal. The post is Tregg sharing Dart’s IG story of Dart sharing Tregg’s Ole Miss picture. This is me deciphering some here, but Tregg’s BYU + emoji face seems to me that he wants to be a package deal with Jaxson, but wouldn’t go to BYU with Jaxson, insinuating that Jaxson is seriously considering BYU (How’s that for detective skills!).
Ole Miss would give Dart a chance to start right away under Lane Kiffin and Oklahoma is a blue blood, but I believe BYU is firmly in the mix for Jaxson. Jaxson could start at BYU next season, or at worst would lead BYU into the Big 12 in 2023 as the face of BYU’s program.