PROVO, Utah – Seeing Kedon Slovis donning the oval Y helmet and a non-contact royal blue jersey for BYU was surreal. Slovis, a former USC and Pitt quarterback who once joked about the odd kindness of BYU fans, is now the man expected to lead BYU’s offense into the Big 12 conference.
The first day of spring training was the first look at Slovis serving as the BYU quarterback. The first impression was good. During the 20-minute media watch, Slovis looked like a quarterback who has started 38 games on a power-five program.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) March 7, 2023
His passing was very fast, he made quick decisions and he seemed comfortable with Aaron Roderick’s offense. One of Slovis’ highlights was often his accuracy on deep passes. However, he showed he is more than capable of airing it with a 40-yard ball to the money near the touchline for redshirt newcomer Dom Henry.
It’s only the first day now and there are no pads on. A very different look than that faced by Slovis and the BYU offense as they navigate a schedule that includes a program record 10 Power Five programs. But Slovis’ experience makes him the favorite to be the signal caller to follow in the footsteps Jaren Hall left.
BYU coach Kalani Sitake was impressed with Slovis and the entire quarterback unit after day one.
“Kedon made some nice throws. I think all quarterbacks [made some nice throws]. I was also impressed with (Cade) Fennegan, I was really impressed with all the quarterbacks,” Sitake said. “A high level of accuracy and a high demand on the offensive. They could tell their boys where to go. Any mistakes that occur and signal, they correct on the field. It’s crazy that we’re doing this with this new group of guys. But they seem to be veterans and seem to be adapting really well to our offense.
Slovis, who preferred BYU to Notre Dame, UCLA, SEC and Big Ten programs, was also pleased with day one.
“I liked it. Day one is far from perfect so some learning curves for everyone on timing. But I thought, for the most part on our first day, I’m pretty proud of the way the guys lined up; completed a lot of balls and looked pretty clean up front. So I was pretty happy with that,” said Slovis. “We obviously need to get better and build on that, but a pretty good first day.”
Slovis and Roderick thought highly of each other ahead of the Spring Ball. Slovis commended how much he felt Roderick and BYU analyst Matt Mitchell agreed with him on how they wanted a crime to proceed.
After a day running Roderick’s offense in a practice setting at BYU, Slovis continues to praise the system that has produced two NFL quarterbacks.
“There’s a lot there,” Slovis said with a smile about what he likes about Roderick’s offense. “We throw a lot. That’s our identity, so to speak. I think it does a great job protecting the quarterback. It’s very quarterback friendly and will enable you to get into a rhythm and act. I think the first period was run-action, play-action, and run-period. We didn’t have a great rhythm, but we found it [rhythm] like a period later. And I think that’s kind of proof on offense that we might not get a touchdown every game, but you’ll find a rhythm because of the way it’s set up.
Roderick made Slovis a top priority on the transfer portal after two-year starter Jaren Hall told coaches he was moving to the NFL. Arriving on campus in January, Slovis immediately went to work to shower Roderick’s offense. The OC, a third year on the Sitake staff, likes how Slovis has run his business so far.
“He’s been a great worker since he’s been here. And he’s done a great job of not having any claims. You know, he’s just here to work and he’s like one of the boys, just like everyone else,” Roderick said. “But everyone knows the work they did before they came here. Everyone has seen him play and knows he plays well. I think we’re all happy to have him here.”
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Mitch Harper is a BYU insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE TO) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday 12pm-3pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU’s move to the Big 12 conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.