Kenny Cox | Posted: 3 Aug 2023 | Updated: 7 Aug 2023

2023 Fall Camp: Practice 3—OC Aaron Roderick and Quarterbacks Preview

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QB Fall 2023
Arod Fall Camp 2023 Slovis Fall Camp 2023 2 Ryder Burton 2023 Fall Camp Slovis and OL Fall Camp 2023 BYU quarterback Jake Retzlaff surveys the defense during practice on Aug. 2, 2023. Nick Billoups Fall Camp 2023 BYU quarterback Cole Hagen looks to pass during practice on Aug. 3, 2023. BYU quarterback Cade Fennegan looks to pass during practice on Aug. 3, 2023. BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis looks to pass during practice on Aug. 3, 2023. 2023 Camp QBs Kedon Slovis Media Fall Camp 2023

PROVO, Utah – BYU football had its third practice on Thursday afternoon as it continues its first week of fall camp for the 2023 season.

Today, BYU features BYU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick and previews the quarterback position, which includes four newcomers for the 2023 campaign.

2023 BYU Quarterbacks
# Name Year HT WT Hometown/Previous Schools
15 Billoups, Nick R-So. 6-1 203 San Clemente, CA/San Clemente HS
18 Burton, Ryder* Fr. 6-2 200 Springville, UT/Springville HS
11 Fennegan, Cade R-So. 6-2 190 Dallas, TX/Boise State
16 Hagen, Cole* Fr. 6-1 185 Draper, UT/Draper HS
12 Retzlaff, Jake* Jr. 6-1 205 Corona, CA/Riverside City College
10 Slovis, Kedon* R-Sr. 6-3 215 Scottsdale, AZ/USC/Pittsburgh

Lost from 2022:
Jaren Hall, Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, Jacob Conover

Coach Preview - Aaron Roderick
Roderick, entering his third season as the offensive coordinator at BYU and seventh as a full-time coach for the Cougars, looks to keep up his consistent approach as being one of the most efficient, yet aggressive playcallers in the FBS. 

Directing a top-35 total offense each of the past three seasons, including No. 6 in 2020 at 522.2 yards per game, Roderick's unit finished last season No. 11 in pass efficiency (158.49), following up a 2021 at No. 12 (158.66) and a 2020 where BYU passers ranked No. 3 nationally in efficiency (189.34). BYU also racked up 83 passing plays of 30 yards or more over the past three seasons while throwing just 16 interceptions over the last 38 games.  

Under Roderick, BYU's offense has been one of the best at starting fast, scoring on its first possession 65.8 percent of the time the last three years to lead the FBS. This  has helped the Cougars achieve a 23-2 record in those games when scoring first for a winning percentage of 92.0 percent, good for No. 8 nationally. 

Roderick’s quarterbacks have continued on to the next level, with Zach Wilson going No. 2 overall to the New York Jets in 2021 and, most recently, Jaren Hall to the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

BYU QB Kedon Slovis on “Why BYU?” (From Big 12 Media Day on Sirius XM)
“Looking from the outside, it’s the offense. They’ve done so many great things with Zach and Jaren and having an explosive offense. They love to throw the ball. And that’s where it all started with LaVell Edwards. Going back to the roots of that was super exciting for me. I got here and it felt like home so fast. It hasn’t been hard to try and lead the team because the guys want to be led.”

BYU’s offensive architect and playcaller, Roderick will look to reload in 2023 with a cupboard full of talented transfers and experienced returners all across the offensive side of the football, beginning with the quarterback room. 

"He is so good at finding the right pieces and making it work," said Slovis of Roderick as fall camp began this week. "You are going to have great plays, but if you don’t have the right personnel for those plays, they are not going to work. He is one of the best in the country because he puts it all in place for the personnel we have.”

BYU Quarterbacks
BYU added one of the most experienced quarterbacks in college football via the transfer portal with Kedon Slovis, coming most recently from Pittsburgh after a three-year run at USC. A 2023 Maxwell Award Watch List honoree, Slovis has started 37 of 38 career games, was named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2019 and a Freshman All-American.

Slovis has thrown for 9,973 yards and 68 touchdowns in his career, returning as one the nation's leaders in several passing categories with an opportunity to go down in the record books for the NCAA with a successful season. 

Head Coach Kalani Sitake on Kedon Slovis (From Big 12 Media Day on ESPNU)
“Tons of experience. It’s not like going into hostile environments is going to be tough for him as he’s been through that already. He’s played a lot of football. What I want him to do is feel comfortable mixing the different types of throws and taking calculated risks, but also just playing within the program. You know, sometimes you don’t do it all as a quarterback - you lean on your teammates, lean on the defense and special teams to be a difference maker for you. I’m excited about the progress he’s made since he’s been in Provo.”

Listen to Kedon Slovis on BYURadio Behind the Mic with Greg Wrubell from Big 12 Media Day

In addition to Slovis, BYU also picked up the top junior college quarterback in America in Jake Retzlaff from Corona, California. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder completed 312 of 493 passes for 4,596 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2022 at Riverside City College after throwing for 3,302 yards at Golden West as a freshman in 2021.

BYU also welcomed two talented local products in freshmen Cole Hagen out of Corner Canyon High School and Ryder Burton from Springville High School. Hagen, back from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Washington D.C., went 28-0 at Corner Canyon and won two state titles behind 7,065 passing yards and 80 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,766 yards and 20 touchdowns as Utah’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019.

Burton, in his first season as a starter at Springville, led the Red Devils to the 5A state championship game with 2,305 yards and 25 touchdowns. He finished his career with more than 4,200 yards and 48 touchdowns at Springville.

The newcomers join a room that features returners Cade Fennegan and Nick Billoups. Fennegan transferred from Boise State in 2021 and Billoups from Utah that same year. Both quarterbacks have spent time running the scout team and will look to earn a spot on the field in 2023.

Despite not having a player with any passing stats for the Cougars on the roster for 2023, BYU has plenty of game experience from the FBS and junior college level ready to compete in 2023.

“We just need to continue to develop and be the same team every day," said Slovis about the goals for fall camp. "Again, there’s a lot of new faces, things are going to move around and guys are going to plug and play different spots. You can’t waste an opportunity out here. We all need to show up every day and be consistent. There’s definitely an energy around the building right now and we have to pick it up because there’s a lot of good teams on our schedule. We have to elevate our play.”

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