Jaren Hall Enters a Familiar Role in Week 9 of His Rookie Season

Vikings Fans Want Jaren
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

This past weekend, the Minnesota Vikings lost their starting quarterback Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles tendon.

As a result, fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall is in line to make his first career NFL start against the Atlanta Falcons with the Vikings in the midst of a playoff hunt in the NFC.

While stepping in on short notice is a difficult task for any rookie quarterback, it is one that Hall seems prepared to take on. It is also one that is all-too-familiar for the former BYU Cougar.

Jaren Hall Enters a Familiar Role in Week 9 of His Rookie Season

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Back in his collegiate days, Hall was a redshirt freshman during the 2019 BYU season. With Zach Wilson taking on the starting role, he spent a vast majority of the season as a backup to the eventual No. 2 overall pick.

However, just a couple weeks into the season, Hall was thrown into a game against Toledo. Wilson had suffered a thumb injury which forced BYU to remove him from the game and insert the redshirt freshman. It was a rough day for BYU as they lost the game by a score of 28-21, and Hall completed 3-of-6 passes for 39 yards.

A week later, the Cougars were slated to take on USF, but Wilson’s injury was severe enough that he had to be remain sidelined for the contest. This meant Hall was in line to start his first collegiate game for a 2-3 BYU team fighting for bowl contention. Sound familiar?

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Some wondered how Hall would handle the pressure of leading BYU’s offense heading into the game, but he lived up to all the challenges. The Cougars jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter behind a pair of field goals and a beautiful 35-yard TD pass from Hall to WR Dax Milne.

Halfway through the third quarter, BYU held a 23-14 lead after a 29-yard TD run from Hall as the mobile QB showed off his terrific athleticism. However, there was a problem. Hall took a massive hit to the head during the run. For the second consecutive week, a BYU QB would have to leave the game with injury as Hall suffered a concussion during the play.

BYU would have to replace him with Baylor Romney, and USF was able to take advantage by completing a comeback to win the game 27-23.

While the outcome ended in disappointment, Hall performed well during his first career start. Prior to his injury, the QB had completed 15 of his 23 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown while also adding 83 rushing yards and his second touchdown to his statline.

A couple years later, Hall would take over the full-time starting role for BYU in 2021, leading them to an 18-8 record over his two years as the starter. His performances during these two seasons landed him with the Vikings in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jaren Hall
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While stepping in to lead an NFL offense is far different from a college program, Vikings fans should take some comfort knowing that this is a situation that he is familiar with. His comments leading up to his career NFL start suggest he is poised and ready for this moment.

If Hall puts together a strong showing on Sunday against Atlanta, he very well could remain the Vikings starter for the rest of the season, and it would bode well for the franchise’s confidence in him moving into 2024 and beyond.

Perhaps the Vikings remain interested in bringing back Cousins for next season, but with some extra grooming over this year and next, this could be Hall’s chance to put together a start to his NFL career that nearly mirrors his beginning at BYU.

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on PurplePTSD.

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