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Former Pitt, USC QB Kedon Slovis announces he is transferring to BYU

The former USC and Pittsburgh quarterback brings a wealth of experience with him to Provo for his final college season

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Pittsburgh quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) passes against Virginia Tech during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) passes against Virginia Tech during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

AP

Kedon Slovis is coming to BYU.

The former USC and Pittsburgh quarterback and one of the top names at the position in the NCAA transfer portal announced on social media Saturday morning that he is headed to BYU as a grad transfer.

BYU officially announced his signing about 15 minutes later and said he will join the program in January.

Slovis’ decision gives the Cougars some much-needed competition at the position with Jaren Hall declaring for the NFL draft and Jacob Conover transferring to Arizona State.

“We are pleased to announce Kedon Slovis will be joining our football program,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake in the team’s official announcement of the signing.

“He’s an extremely talented quarterback with a wealth of experience as a successful starter at the Power 5 level. We are excited that Kedon has chosen to conclude his college career at BYU.”

Added BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick: “Kedon is an effortless passer, great leader and one of the most accurate quarterbacks in college football.

“I’ve enjoyed watching his calm demeanor. He is always poised, never too high or too low. I have been so impressed with his methodical approach to this decision to come to BYU. I can’t wait for him to join us in January.”

Who is Kedon Slovis?

Slovis, who will have one year of eligibility remaining, played his first three seasons of college ball at USC before transferring to Pittsburgh for the 2022 season.

As an 18-year-old true freshman in 2019, Slovis took over the starting job after JT Daniels was injured midway through USC’s first game and earned Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year honors that season.

In that season, he had career highs in completion percentage (71.9%), passing yards (3,502) and touchdown passes (30).

He ranked eighth nationally that season, and first among all FBS freshmen, by averaging 294.7 passing yards per game. His completion percentage was fifth-best nationally.

Slovis, a native of Scottsdale, Arizona, was the Trojans’ starter through much of the next two seasons before he was replaced by Jaxson Dart, a Utah native, late in a 2021 season in which he struggled.

Slovis transferred to Pittsburgh for the 2022 season and started 11 games during the regular season before entering the transfer portal in early December.

Slovis has completed 65.9% of his passes during his college career while throwing for 9,973 yards, 68 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. He has a 23-14 record as a starter.

There are aspects of his game that may give Cougar fans pause, though.

Slovis has seen his individual numbers drop each season as a collegian, and this past year in Pittsburgh, he completed a career-low 58.4% of his passes for 2,397 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions, with a career-worst 127.1 QB rating.

Unlike BYU’s last two starting quarterbacks, Hall and Zach Wilson, Slovis is not a mobile QB. He’s more a traditional dropback passer at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, has rushed for minus-218 yards for his career and has never scored a rushing touchdown.

In a story Saturday on Slovis’ decision, ESPN’s Pete Thamel wrote, “The arrival of Slovis indicates a commitment to a wide-open system that should be attractive to both transfers and recruits trying to find a system where they can put up big numbers.

After visiting recently, sources said he took the initiative to get the phone numbers of the receivers to text them and build rapport.”

Has Kedon Slovis played against BYU?

Slovis and USC played the Cougars in Provo early in the 2019 season, with BYU knocking off the then-No. 24 Trojans 30-27 in overtime.

In his second-ever start for the Trojans that day, Slovis completed 24 of 34 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

He led a 13-play, 92-yard drive in the second half that culminated in a 30-yard touchdown pass to future Indianapolis Colt Michael Pittman Jr., giving USC a 24-17 lead with 10:45 to play.

Later in the fourth quarter with the Trojans trailing 27-24, Slovis again led a scoring drive as USC traveled 44 yards in 11 plays before tying the game with a 52-yard field goal with 1:43 left in regulation.

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Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga (95) blocks a pass by USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

He also threw three interceptions in the game.

The first two came on back-to-back possessions in the first quarter, leading to a touchdown and a field goal for BYU. 

The last interception came when Dayan Ghanwoloku picked off Slovis on a tipped pass in overtime, sealing the BYU victory.

Who will BYU have at quarterback heading into its first Big 12 season?

Slovis joins a Cougar quarterback group in which he’ll have by far the most college game experience. 

Hall has been BYU’s starter the past two seasons, and Conover has been the backup during that time.

Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, who started in place of an injured Hall in the team’s bowl game, and Nick Billoups are both expected back.

The Cougars also will have Springville’s Ryder Burton, who signed with the program’s 2023 recruiting class, as well as former Corner Canyon QB Cole Hagen, who is joining the team after initially committing to Yale.