Provo • Nearly every day during this offseason, Jaren Hall will call or text offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick with three basic points of information: Where he is, who is working with and what he worked on.
Those answers can change from day-to-day for BYU’s fifth-year quarterback. Sometimes he is in California working with noted quarterback guru John Beck. Other days he is back in Provo working out with teammates. And then there is the occasional off day he spends throwing with Dustin Smith, a former baseball player turned quarterback coach.
It is a long list of options for a 24-year-old still in college, but it is a necessary endeavor for a player charged with leading BYU’s offense in 2022.
Because for BYU this season, the program will unquestionably go as Hall does. So, this offseason is requiring more unorthodox, sometimes aggressive, methods.
“I guess I am pretty busy,” Hall said. “...I’m [trying] to utilize all I can from everybody who has something great to offer me. I just think it is important to take a little bit here and there and just find what works best for me.”
It is not like Hall hasn’t worked with trainers in the past. But this schedule is ambitious even by most standards.
He plans on working out with Beck a dozen times throughout the summer. Often that means flying to California or Beck coming to Provo. Smith is local to the Utah area, but has a team of trainers including former BYU quarterbacks like Ty Detmer and Max Hall.
And none of this is to mention the several player-led workouts that Hall takes charge of during the week.
“I’m all for it,” Roderick, BYU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, said. “The NCAA limits how much time we can spend with our players. There are large portions of the year where I can’t get on the field with our players. So if he is going to work with someone else to get better, fine with me.”
The focus with each trainer has been slightly different. But the overarching theme has been the same — learning how to throw off balance, or to adjust quickly in and out of the pocket.
After spring camp, Hall went back to the drawing board, looking at film from different NFL players. An emphasis was put on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his ability to throw at any point in a progression. It is also about throwing in different arm angles.
Others Hall looked at were Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. Brady was more of a lesson in controlling your movements. Allen was an example of how to feel under control when a play has broken down.
“I’m not trying to necessarily see how I can model my game after their game,” Hall said. “But I want to see what they do well and in what situations they do well. So more shop talk ideas of, ‘Why are they doing this?’ Just trying to get in their minds.”
Beck in particular has become known for improving a quarterback’s ability to get back on balance and throw quickly. He has worked with multiple mobile quarterbacks in past years.
Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys has worked with Beck. More recently, former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson was under his tutelage. Beck briefly held a position with the New York Jets to help Wilson once he was drafted. Hall met him through his father, Kalin, and decided to make him his trainer.
“We are trying to take the skill set that we see and see how we can refine it,” Beck said at BYU media day. “How can we instruct [him] so he can go out there and instruct himself.”
As for Smith, Hall found him through a family friend. Hall started helping Smith with different camps throughout the summer. Then the the two started throwing.
Eventually, it just made sense to add him as a trainer too. Smith runs a company called Quarterback Elite, which includes former NFL great Kurt Warner as a coach.
“[And through this] we are talking to [Roderick] and our other quarterback coaches and analysts,” Hall said. “It’s good to just stay in the loop with them.”
Of course, there is the school of thought that so many voices, and so many workouts, could be detrimental to growth. But Hall is older and has finally matured into his game. Being paralyzed by the input is less of a concern to him. He thinks he can mostly filter out what he wants to use and what he doesn’t.
This season, Hall is coming as BYU’s undoubted starting quarterback. He is also a projected NFL draft pick.
And his offseason regime shows a more mature approach, a first step in taking command over this 2022 season.
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