PROVO — As part of his duties as a dual-sport athlete, BYU redshirt freshman quarterback Jaren Hall participated in spring football practices Tuesday afternoon.
Later that night, Hall arrived at Utah Valley University in the third inning for the Cougars’ baseball game against UVU. In the 10th inning, Hall singled home Brock Hale for the game-winning RBI to lift BYU to a 14-13 victory.
While Hall is on football scholarship, the Cougar football coaches are supportive of his pursuit of baseball.
“I’m all for it. I like multi-sport guys. I rarely recruit a guy that doesn’t play more than one sport. Pitching and batting, there’s nowhere to hide,” said quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick. “The mental toughness it requires to go to the plate in a clutch situation or pitch, you can’t hide. In basketball or football, sometimes you can hide. You might not get noticed by the fans. There’s nowhere to hide in pitching and batting. I think that’s a great skill for a quarterback to develop.”
Offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes said Hall has looked the best of the three quarterbacks — Hall, Joe Critchlow and Baylor Romney — that have been getting a serious look during spring ball.
“Three guys have been taking the reps. All of them have done well, although I would say Jaren has done the best. Because of that, like at any position, he has received more reps than anyone else. I’ve really been impressed with him. Obviously, he’s a good athlete,” Grimes said. “He can throw the football. But the thing that’s impressed me the most this spring is just his poise and his confidence. He looks like a different guy; and he should. Back in the fall, he was still trying to figure everything out, learning the offense. But I’ve been very impressed with him, especially a guy that’s been playing another sport at the same time.”
MAKING AN IMPACT ON DEFENSE: Sophomore linebacker Chaz Ah You, who returned home from a mission last October, has impressed the coaching staff during spring ball.7 comments on this story
“He’s doing a great job. He understands the scheme of the defense. He’s got a great football IQ,” said coach Kalani Sitake. “He’s learning and getting acclimated to being part of the football team right now, coming off the mission. I think he’s going to do a great job for us. He has great instincts. He could play a number of positions. Right now, we have him at the flash position. He’s a guy that could play a lot of different spots for us.”
MAKING AN IMPACT ON OFFENSE: Sophomore wide receiver Gunner Romney spent most of last season dealing with injuries. But he could make significant contributions this fall.
“He can be that guy to take the top off the defense. He can be a legitimate deep threat,” Grimes said of Romney. “At times, he’s shown that even last year. But he’s had a good spring so far. I think he could be a real difference-maker for us in terms of being able to be a legitimate deep threat.”