Former BYU quarterback Jaren Hall is taking his game to Indianapolis for Saturday’s NFL combine, and that includes an ankle that remains on the mend from an injury suffered late in the Stanford game on Nov. 26.

“He’s gonna do what he can. The optics are what they are. He can’t concern himself with that. He just needs to be in a position to do what’s best for him and where he can make the best showing for himself.” — Kalin Hall on son Jaren Hall

“It’s doing OK,” Hall’s father, Kalin, told the “Y’s Guys” on Tuesday. “High ankle sprains take a lot of time, especially when you are a ‘force guy’ who throws with twitch, emotion, power and torc and his lower extremities are part of things that really drive the ball down the field and allow him to boogie and dance laterally. He’s still healing up. It’s not 100%, but the individuals who have been around the game understand that process.”

Just how much Hall will do among the 15 invited quarterbacks remains to be seen.

“He’s gonna do what he can,” Kalin said. “The optics are what they are. He can’t concern himself with that. He just needs to be in a position to do what’s best for him and where he can make the best showing for himself.”

Hall’s performance at last month’s Senior Bowl was cut short during the days leading up to the game when he tweaked the ankle during practice.

“He was disappointed,” Kalin said. “But he’s had two years of film that shows he can make every throw in the book. He’s bigger than people thought. He’s taller and thicker. He had a couple of (general managers) say (his interviews) were a couple of the best interviews they had ever had.”

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Hall will participate in BYU’s pro day on March 24. The NFL draft begins April 27. As for his draft stock, his father keeps out of the loop.

“I don’t listen to anything,” he said. “Even (Monday), I was telling Jaren, ‘Look, you are getting ready to go to the combine. Just go follow your dream. Do what you do, what you have done since you were 8 years old. Have fun, because very few people get the opportunity to go to the combine.”

Tough decision

Jaren Hall’s decision to forgo his final year of eligibility at BYU for the NFL draft wasn’t an easy one to make.

“To be honest, it was a really tough decision for him, unbeknownst to me,” Kalin said. “I didn’t know he was having second thoughts. He took some more time after conversations with coach Sitake and coach Roderick. He put some prayer into it and made the decision that was in his best interest for where he believed he needed to be.”

Kalin offered advice here and there but stepped back to let Jaren decide on his own.

“I love the game. I love it. But I love my kid more,” Kalin said. “I did not want all of this to be just about the game, even though I’m so proud of everything he has accomplished and the things that he’s done on the field and the man that he is. But I’m so much more proud of the fact that he’s a good person and I wanted to relish in those things.”

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Hall vs. Faulk

Kalin Hall ran for 1,359 yards and 13 touchdowns in two seasons at BYU (1992-93). His showdown with San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk on Sept. 10, 1992, turned a typical Saturday into a shootout at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

“It was blow for blow,” Hall said. “The only thing about it is, I knew Marshall had that 4.3 speed. I thought, ‘Man, if I could only get a little more wind pushing down this way, we’d be all right.’”

Hall rushed 15 times for 143 yards, while Faulk countered with 30 rushes for 315 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-38 Aztecs victory.

“It was a phenomenal opportunity to play against a Hall of Famer,” Hall said. “You knew who the guy was. You knew of his NFL talent. You tip your hat to greatness.”

Facing NFL talent

Kalin Hall played in 22 games at BYU, including dates with Notre Dame (twice), UCLA (twice), Penn State and Ohio State.

“When you are playing against all that NFL talent, you get to gauge yourself,” Hall said. “Now, what you are going to see starting next year, there is going to be an awful lot of NFL talent that BYU is going to be playing against. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be really tough. People need to understand that it’s not about the programs, it’s about the NFL talent they have. In the Big 12 there is going to be a lot of offensive NFL talent.”

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BYU begins Big 12 competition Sept. 26 at Kansas. The home slate includes Cincinnati, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma.

“There are going to be some wins that folks don’t think we will get, but we are going to get them,” Hall said. “How many wins or losses, I don’t know. But what I do know is there are going to be a lot of surprises, especially when folks come over here to LaVell Edwards Stadium.”

High school debut

When Maple Mountain High kicks off its season in August against Payson, Hall will make his debut as the Golden Eagles head coach — a job the late LaVell Edwards prepared him for decades ago.

“You remember the quality moments that Coach LaVell had passed along to you just through his teachings and his actions,” Hall said. “He wasn’t a man of many words, but the things that he did embrace a lot of excellent qualities that men need to have who are leading other young men. From that perspective, I’m gonna take a lot of that. I’m gonna try to lead by example. Lead with passion and emotion.”

Father like sons, daughter and wife

Kalin Hall was a star in Las Vegas and Dixie College before transferring to BYU. At 5-foot-8 and 195 pounds, he ran with toughness and determination. He and wife Hollie, a former BYU gymnast, produced three Cougars football players — KJ, Jaren, and Kyson (freshman receiver). Another son, Dawson, is on the baseball team, while the Hall’s lone daughter, Mateya plays soccer at Maple Mountain.

As the family of athletes watch Jaren take another step toward his dream in the NFL, they expect to see much of what Cougar Nation witnessed over his BYU career — consistency.

“He’s pretty much been the same person his entire life,” Kalin said. “He doesn’t deviate regardless of circumstance.”

Jaren’s circumstance takes him to Saturday’s NFL combine, sore ankle and all.

Former BYU running back Kalin Hall works with the Payson High football team during a practice Friday, August 16, 2002. Next year he’ll be the head coach at Maple Mountain High. | Jason Olson, Deseret News

Dave McCann is a contributor to the Deseret News and is the studio host for “BYU Sports Nation Game Day,” “The Post Game Show,” “After Further Review,” and play-by-play announcer for BYUtv. He is also co-host of “Y’s Guys” at ysguys.com.