Jaren Hall is getting mentions as a possible first-round draft pick in 2023. If you ask former Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer to chime in, he likes Hall’s chances and he supports his backup Jacob Conover if BYU has to call his number.
The thing about Hall will be his durability after facing some injury issues in his college career. But Detmer, who worked with Hall before he signed to play at BYU, says that challenge will be there for him to prove he can stay healthy. Detmer also offered Arizona 4-star QB Conover a scholarship while employed as the offensive coordinator at BYU.
The hype for Hall is real.
Take a look at some mock 2023 draft chatter and Detmer’s assessment isn’t out of the ordinary, despite his obvious bias as a friend and mentor the past half-decade.
“The guy’s done everything they’ve asked him to do. He’s become the leader of a team. He’s athletic and he’s showing that he can run the offense.” — Ty Detmer on BYU quarterback Jaren Hall
Christian Williams of Rush Four projects Hall as the No. 6 pick in the first round by the Detroit Lions.
Writes Williams: “This one may shock some, but if we’re speaking of toolsy, athletic quarterback prospects, Jaren Hall should be involved. Hall is a dynamic athlete with true dual-threat ability. He’s fantastic throwing on the run, and while his arm strength isn’t elite, it’s certainly not a hindrance on most occasions. His game reminds me of Kyler Murray, albeit a lesser version at this stage of his career. Hall had two redshirt years and will enter the 2023 NFL Draft as an older prospect, but he has an opportunity to grow as a passer against top-flight talent in 2022. I think he could take steps forward and end up a surprise riser.”
Hall went to Detmer’s quarterback camp during high school.
In an interview with BYUtv this past week, Detmer was asked to comment on Hall and his backup, Conover.
Hall impresses Detmer
“I love Jaren, he’s a great player, a great young man,” said Detmer, now the head coach at American Leadership Academy in Arizona. “When I came back and coached there in 2016, it seems like forever ago, but he was committed and then kind of not sure what he was gonna do and we kind of re-recruited him. I’ve worked with Jaren at some of the camps we’ve done there in Utah in the past, and just felt really good about him being a part of the program. And then he served the mission and came back, so it’s been six years since we had those conversations.
“But the guy’s done everything they’ve asked him to do. He’s become the leader of a team. He’s athletic and he’s showing that he can run the offense. When things break down, he’s athletic enough to extend plays and get it to his guys. He obviously had a successful season last year, and I really feel like he’ll build on that this year.”
Hall’s mobility, a skill on display in a long TD run against Big 12 champion Baylor on the road and another long jaunt against Pac 12 champion Utah that was called back, is a feature NFL teams are looking for these days out of QB talent, said Detmer.
The way the game is moving, everybody is looking for guys that can extend plays, create, run the system, and he’s got a great foundation there at BYU,” said Detmer. He also said he wouldn’t blame Hall if he put in for the draft after the end of next season as a Covid-year junior.
“I think most quarterbacks that come out of BYU kind of have an age situation. They want to try to play for as long as they can and so, if you’re 23 or 24 it kind of gets to the point where you’ve got to get that clock started in the NFL, especially with a couple years of being the starter. He (Hall) must stay healthy and go through the season and do all those things this year to get to that point. If everything goes as planned, I think he’s ready for that next jump after the season.”
Experience is key
Because Hall did so well last year and has spent a lot of time with BYU’s offensive designs, Detmer thinks he has proven to be a smart, savvy quarterback. Looking back at his own career, getting playing time as a freshman, then having a solid sophomore year in 1989, it was the perfect situation to set him up as the Heisman winner in 1990.
“What happens is you really get comfortable in that role. Then in my senior year I was kind of establishing myself being a team leader and managing the young guys that were coming through that season. Hall has a lot of guys coming back, but he also lost a few guys, so it’s getting those young players to catch up quickly and help them be ready.
“You know, every year the main thing for quarterbacks, especially year two, is just staying healthy and being smart. For me, my second year being the starter was 1990, the Heisman year, but fortunately, I’d been able to play as a sophomore and had that season under my belt. Then my senior year was just kind of establishing myself and being a team leader and managing the young guys that were coming through that season. So this will be that for him a little bit.”
Detmer said so many quarterbacks want to play right away these days, but there is wisdom to be learned if you have to sit. He sees this benefiting Conover, who won the backup QB job at BYU in spring.
“I actually offered (Conover) while I was there and felt really good about him. He’s been down here working with Max Hall when he’s in town (Arizona). He has a very strong arm and he’s really throwing it well and accurately. Just watching him back in high school, he’s smart. He wasn’t known for taking off and running, but I remember he pulled it down in a state playoff game and took off when he had to. He’s a very competitive kid that loves the game. I think BYU is in great shape right now in that QB room. They haven’t had guys leave for greener pastures — or what they think are greener pastures.
“I’m proud of Jacob for hanging in there and waiting his time. I think it will pay off for him when he does get a shot. I’m excited for him,” said Detmer, who passed for more than 15,000 yards and 121 touchdowns as a collegian, both NCAA records at the time.
In 2021 Hall passed for 2583 yards and 20 touchdowns with 5 interceptions. He had a QB rating of 78, No 15 nationally, and a pass efficiency rating of 147 in leading BYU to a 5-0 record against the Pac 12. He did not play in BYU’s bowl game, a loss to Alabama-Birmingham in the Independence Bowl last December.