Since 2011, BYU Football has only had a starting quarterback play in every game twice.
Backup quarterbacks are nearly, if not just as important for BYU Football as the starter. Since going Independent, the Cougars have had to rely on guys like Christian Stewart, Baylor Romney, James Lark, Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum to play significant time.
The only times the Cougars haven’t needed to play a back up was in 2013 with Taysom Hill and 2020 with Zach Wilson when the Cougars played a shorter and less physical schedule. Every other season BYU has needed to play a backup. In some seasons (2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018) the backup has actually played more snaps than the original starter.
With that said, it is probably a really good idea to learn about this year’s backup quarterback, Jacob Conover.
On Monday, offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said that Conover has separated himself as the backup with Cade Fennegan and Sol-Jay Maiava also getting some reps.
We all want Jaren Hall to be an elite quarterback that plays 13 games next season. The reality however, is that history has shown us that 83% of BYU’s recent seasons have needed a backup to start at least one game. Throw in the fact that Hall has been injured and taken out of games at least four times in his short career, and there is a very high probability that at some point Conover will be the starter.
Jacob Conover Bio
Jacob Conover played for Chandler High School in Arizona, the same school as the Romney brothers. His senior season he went 223 for 327 and 3,306 yards and 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also added 258 yards on the ground and two more touchdowns.
Conover was recruited as a four star quarterback by schools including Alabama, Washington State, Arizona and Ole Miss among others, although it is unclear if those offers were dependent on him not serving a mission.
Watching his film, he appears to be sort of like Baylor Romney or Christian Stewart. He can certainly pull the ball down and pick up yards with his feet, but that won’t be before running out of throwing options. That doesn’t mean he isn’t mobile, he just doesn’t like to leave the pocket.
Last season, Conover saw very limited time completing five of ten passes for 45 yards. Prior to being the third string quarterback, he played as the scouting quarterback following his mission in 2020.
This will be Conover’s third season with BYU, although he is still technically a freshman (Covid and redshirt). Interestingly, with injuries to Hall and Hall splitting reps in 2020 with Wilson, it is very possible that Conover has the most practice reps of any quarterback on campus.