The road that led to sophomore gun slinger Jaren Hall
to receiving a coveted BYU scholarship offer came by way of first attending a BYU summer camp session. The BYU coaching staff was intiruged so they invited him to BYU's Junior Day to evaluate him further as well as observing his play in the BYU 7-on-7 tournament.
"It started out with me going out to one of their camps a couple of weeks ago, and I did pretty well out there for the padded camp," said Hall. "The next week they had their junior day. I had the opportunity to go that and I guess I impressed them again. They told me they wanted to see me in their seven-on-seven camp to see how I look and interact with my teammates. I played in that and I guess I did well enough for them in that. That's when I received the offer."
Bronco Mendenhall and his offensive coaches evaluated Hall thoroughly. The results of which led them to believe they needed to verbally offer the dual-threat quarterback living right in their own backyard.
"It really came as a surprise because we really didn't have a good day [as a team]," Hall said. "We had a couple guys dropping balls here and there. Also, I didn't play the best that I could have, but those things happen to everyone once in awhile. I was pretty surprised that it happened."
Following the conclusion of the 7-on-7 tournament, Jaren sat in Coach Mendenhall's office with him mother Hollie, father Kalin, and younger sister. His older brother, KJ, is currently serving a mission, while his two younger brothers were attending a baseball game.
"I'll be honest with you, it was a little scary situation for me with all those coaches there," said Hall with a chuckle in his voice. "It was kind of scary a bit, but I had all my family there supporting me and things eventually kind of settled in."
Coach Mendenhall spoke to Jaren and got to know the 16 year old quarterback phenomenon from Maple Mountain High School (Mapleton, UT).
"It was a great experience; I'll be honest with you," Hall said. "He was able to read what kind of a kid I was, and we went through a couple of things together like the honor code and the uniqueness that is BYU. He talked to me about my plans and we got to know each other a little better, and that was great too."
Coach Mendenhall proceeded and did what he normally does in this situation with recruits. He pulls out a piece of paper and has it read by the recipient.
"He pulled out the scholarship and had me read it top to bottom," Hall said. "When I read that first paragraph that said I was receiving an offer, my mind just blanked out and I finally realized what was happening. I looked over at my dad and he was just really proud of me. He didn't really express too much because he just had that stern face he always has, but when we got outside he said, ‘Son, I'm really proud of you and you really earned it.' I could tell he was really happy for me inside."
Upon receiving his BYU offer, Jaren Hall felt a peaceful and at home, being in the presence of his family, knowing he had an offer from his church college.
"When I finally got that offer I felt like I was at home," he said. "I felt good about being there with my family and all the people that helped me get there. It was a special moment. I have to say it was really a spiritual moment for me. I won't forget it."
If Jaren Hall decides to follow in his father's footsteps, and continue the Hall legacy at BYU, he'll compete for a starting job. If he secures the right to be named the starting quarterback of the most prolific and historic position in BYU's football program, Hall will make history as the first starting African-American quarterback at BYU.
"That's really crazy to think about," Hall said after a long pause to think about that history making situation. "Of all the great quarterbacks that have come through the program, that's a crazy think to think about that I could be the first African-American quarterback at BYU. Wow, I never really thought much about that. That's something to really think about."
It was a history making possibility he had never really thought much about.
"You know, I never really thought about that," said Hall after a pause. "BYU is the original quarterback university, so to have a chance to play quarterback there as the first African-American, LDS, quarterback [would be] a real honor. Yeah, that's a real honor and crazy to think about. That's history right there. Wow, I never really thought about that. That's really something to think about."
It makes sense why the thought of possibly being BYU's first African-American quarterback caused him to pause. While sitting in Coach Mendenhall's office, Jaren Hall listened to Coach Mendenhall talk about the influence, leadership role, and importance the quarterback position plays as the leader of the team to the sports world.
"One of the things Coach Mendenhall talked about how the quarterback becomes the face of the football team," said Hall. "He talked about how the quarterback has to be a good leader and example because he's the leader of the team."
For Jaren Hall to have the opportunity to lead that program as the first African-American quarterback is quite the honor.
"Yeah, that really is an honor and I'm just grateful for the opportunity," said Hall. "Over all the years of all the great quarterbacks that have played there, knowing that I could be the first African American quarterback to start there, wow! That's just crazy to think about and I'm really honored. Being the first African-American quarterback to [possibly] do that is an honor and something to think about. It really puts a whole new meaning to the opportunity I have at BYU. This is something that has never happened before in the history of BYU. I'm mean that's amazing! I would love nothing more than that."
Although Jaren Hall is young, he's remarkably forward thinking and understanding of the bigger picture when it comes to the mission of BYU.
"It's a huge missionary tool right there," Hall said. "Being the face of the program and that's something Coach Mendenhall and I talked about as well in his office. We talked about being the fact of the program and taking the program into a whole different direction wanted by our [Church] President, Present Thomas S. Monson, and just how great of an honor it would be to be that guy doing so. It truly is an amazing thought and something I'd love to do."
President Thomas S. Monson, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a role model for Jaren Hall. The thought of one day playing in front of him at Lavell Edwards Stadium is a remarkable thought to Hall.
"Obviously he is one of my mentors, along with my father, and Heavenly Father," said Hall. "He's right there in the press box watching every game, and he's watching how I'm interacting with others. It's something that I can only dream of right now. It might be something that one day I do."
Humble and grateful for his BYU offer, Hall was nothing but honored knowing the road ahead of him leads towards a bright future.
"It is an honor and this is an honor for me and I'm so thankful for that," Hall said. "I don't know what else to say. Yeah, it is an honor for me. I don't know what else to say other than that. It really is a blessing to me."
It's a blessing to Jaren Hall simply because he'll have an opportunity to follow in his father's footsteps at a university he grew up cheering for.
"Yeah I did grow up watching BYU football on Saturday night, or going over to a friend's house cooking up some wings and watching football," said Hall. "I've been to a few BYU games with my dad. I've been out there a couple times on game day."
Why was Jaren Hall a fan of BYU growing up? Was it only because his father played there, because it's the college sponsored by his church, the outstanding academics, or is it because of all of the above?
"I would say it's more all of the above, you know?" Hall said. "It was right there and I grew up in Provo and nearby, so BYU grew on me because my dad played there and it's the school of the LDS faith. I would say that everything that BYU stands for is why I grew up a BYU fan. BYU was the team, it really was."
Hall has two current offers on the table: BYU and Utah. He has two more years left of high school football to play meaning he'll surely have more opportunities to choose from when all is said and done.
"[BYU] is recruiting me as a quarterback because I can run, throw, and read defenses," said Hall. "The quarterback position is where they're recruiting me at. I have a strong arm. I spend a lot of time with my dad on Hudl watching film on other teams, and I can read defenses really well. I can run when I need to in order to make plays. My accuracy is really good and that's one of my strong points as a quarterback.
"I had 18 touchdowns, a .500 completion percentage and my total passing yardage was around 1,500 yards. I'm athletic and quick with some speed and plan on getting faster, more swivel in the hips, and stronger in the weight room. I'll be doing some speed training over the summer to become more explosive in the run game. When it came to running the ball I think I scored around two or three touchdowns as a running back."
Hall's currently competing down at USC where he'll run drills alongside one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks, Malik Henry.
"Yeah, we're going to go down there and throw the ball around a little," said Jaren's father Kalin Hall. "We want to see where he stacks up against some of the best around."
Hall will ride out the recruiting process and when the time is right, he'll get down on bended knee and ask his Heavenly Father which of those options best fits him. Then he'll make his commitment and then serve a two-year mission prior to enrolling at the college of his choice. The future is looking very bright for Jaren Hall.
The son of former BYU Cougar Kalin Hall, Jaren Hall, recently received a BYU scholarship offer. The sophomore gunslinger is just beginning to blip on the recruiting radar. The Maple Mountain product has a bright future ahead of him.
Maple Mountain QB Jaren Hall received a BYU offer & has a chance to carry on a family legacy at BYU