How BYU quarterback Jaren Hall used Instagram to get his O-line paid

The initial contract was for the 10 traveling linemen, but center James Empey called with a request: Include all 20 linemen.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) runs the ball as a referee tries to stay out of the way in football action between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Arizona State Sun Devils at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

After the big rivalry win over Utah, BYU quarterback Jaren Hall took a moment during the post-game press conference to make a plea: take care of his offensive line.

“Any people out there willing to sponsor this offensive line? Please do.” Hall said. “Pay those guys, get them some food, please.”

The Cougars’ starting quarterback continued his call to action when he posted a photo of himself and the O-Line on Instagram, with a caption that read: “I’m just happy to be here... And if you really love [BYU Football] someone please sponsor and pay my Oline plz.”

Well, someone took notice.

Scott Warner, CEO of Gigg Inc., said he actually got in contact with Hall as soon as the NIL legislation passed, allowing college athletes to be compensated. When he saw Hall’s Instagram post, he reached out to a client that he knew wanted to get into the NIL space.

Xlear, Inc., an organic and natural products company out of American Fork, became the sponsor of a campaign Gigg will make with the BYU offensive linemen.

The deal originally involved the 10 offensive linemen who travel for Cougar road games. Then BYU center James Empey came back with a request. There are 20 offensive linemen, he said, and they’re all one unit. So Empey told Warner the 10 travel linemen would like to split what they would make in the deal to be able to pay all 20 guys.

“I was just like ‘whoa,’” Warner said. “The starters and the travelers were waving bye-bye to half of their potential earnings to involve the entire [offensive line]. And I was just so impressed by that with them.”

While Warner was unable to disclose specifics for the amount players will be compensated, he said the total amount is in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The cohesiveness of the Cougars’ offensive line has been key for a lot of people this year.

Running back Lopini Katoa said the O-line is improving each week and learning to play as a unit, which makes his job easier.

“If they’re working well together, then obviously Tyler [Allgeier] and I have a big day,” Katoa said.

Wide receiver Neil Pau’u would take it one step further, saying the offensive line is “the reason why we’ve won.”

After BYU’s most recent win against South Florida, Pau’u said there were a lot of linemen taking plenty of pictures to post on their own social media accounts.

“That’s where games are won and they’re won literally because of them,” Pau’u said. “You saw [against] Arizona State and Utah, we couldn’t get the passing game going as we did this past Saturday, so we were able to run the ball and find certain lanes and Tyler was able to hit and it was all created because of them.”