BYU to start black QB for first time in its history

For the first time in nearly 100 years, BYU will have a black quarterback starting on Saturday, when the Cougars play USF in Tampa.

Jaren Hall, a redshirt freshman, will replace regular starter Zach Wilson, who 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,” Hall said this week. “So it is an honor and a privilege to be here and to be playing this sport at this wonderful university.”

BYU is a private university owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The school began to play football in 1922 and did not have an African-American player until 1970. The church did not allow black men or women to enter temples or become priests until 1978.

Hall, whose father, Kalin, also played at BYU, is a member of the church, as are 99 percent of the students at BYU.

BYU is coached by Kilani Sitake, who is of Tongan descent.

“He’s extremely confident and I think he’s ready for this moment,” Sitake said of Hall. “I’m really excited for him — I know he’s excited. The players are responding to him well.”

Hall is also an outfielder on the baseball team.

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