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According to ESPN, when BYU’s redshirt freshman, Jaren Hall, takes the field under center for the Cougars, it will be the first time in school history that the program has started a Black quarterback.
Hall will take the field against USF today as starter Zach Wilson is out with a thumb injury.
“I am very proud of my ancestors, very proud of my ethnicity and all the things that come with that,” said Hall earlier this week. “So it is an honor and a privilege to be here and to be playing this sport at this wonderful university.”
The private university is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They began their football program in 1922, and their history with race is interesting yet might not be surprising. The football team didn’t have a Black player until 1970, and, even more interesting (according to that ESPN story), “Until 1978, the church did not allow black people to enter temples for specific ordinances, and black men were not eligible for the priesthood.”
Hall, whose father, Kalin, also played for the Cougars, is also an outfielder on the baseball team. Could he be the next coming of Kyler Murray in the state of Utah?
“He’s extremely confident, and I think he’s ready for this moment,” said coach Kalani Sitake. “I’m really excited for him — I know he’s excited. The players are responding to him well.”
Let’s see if Jaren can make his moment in history an even bigger one.