In 2019, Zach Wilson had an up-and-down campaign and dealt with injuries down the stretch. It included some big wins over Tennessee and USC and also some head-scratchers against Toledo, San Diego State, and Hawaii. Then, in 2020, he had a meteoric rise to become one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the history of BYU and one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He finished it off by being drafted second overall in April 2021 to the New York Jets.
Now that Jaren Hall enters his fifth season at BYU, could the veteran signal caller have a similar rise to stardom?
Hall put together an impressive season in 2021. He missed three games due to injury but even when he was on the field, at times, he played hurt. He gutted through it and made some huge plays for the Cougars. BYU likely does not beat Utah for the first time in 12 years without Hall’s efforts.
Like Wilson, Hall also turned in a few clunkers. Every player and fan would like to forget the debacle against Boise State last year and Hall is no exception. With an interception and being held to negative rushing yards, it statistically was Hall’s worst game of the season. His matchup with Arizona State was also a bumpy one, even though the Cougars were victorious.
The season ended with a thud as BYU lost to UAB in the Independence Bowl. Hall wasn’t healthy enough to play, which may have been the difference between winning and losing.
Overall, he put together a solid season with 2,583 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns against five interceptions and 307 rushing yards. He was 15th in the country in adjusted passing yards per attempt at 9.3, which could provide a spark for another level in 2022.
Now, Hall has had a full offseason to prepare as the assumed starting quarterback. Last spring and summer, he was in a heated battle with Baylor Romney and Jacob Conover. Now he is the incumbent starter. This gives him an advantage in getting even more comfortable with the playbook and with the personnel around him.
It may be unfair to hold Hall to a similar standard that Wilson reached in 2020, when he even garnered 42 Heisman votes and finished as BYU’s all-time leader in QB rating. However, it’s safe to expect another jump in Hall’s overall game.
The offense should be humming. Gunner Romney returns along with Puka Nacua and tight end Isaac Rex as his top three weapons. Cal transfer Christopher Brooks will add some juice at running back as well. It became obvious that Hall was at his best when utilizing his legs and athleticism. So long as offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick institutes Hall’s legs into his game plan, the offense should take another step given the returning talent around Hall.
Plus, the Cougars will not be able to lean on running back Tyler Allgeier to bail them out, as he is now part of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL. That weight will be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Spanish Fork native.
In 2022, we will find out just how good Hall can truly be.