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Barring unforeseen circumstance, Kedon Slovis will be the starting quarterback at BYU this fall. And not because he is getting paid a lot of money to be there.
Slovis, a 22-year-old fifth-year graduate transfer, landed in Provo after three years at USC and one year at Pittsburgh. His journey, though unique, is a testament to the current state of college football.
Player movement is more prevalent than ever, and things don’t always work out as planned.
Slovis, a former three-star recruit, committed to play for the Trojans out of high school. He was the backup to J.T. Daniels as a freshman but was thrust into the starting role after an injury in Week 1 and never looked back.
Slovis finished his first year at USC with an NCAA Freshman record 71.8% completion percentage while throwing for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. The Trojans went 8-4 and their quarterback was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Slovis come 2020, but COVID-19 cut his sophomore season short. The sophomore signal-caller still managed to lead all other conference quarterbacks in wins, passing yards, completions, attempts and touchdowns, but also led the league in picks and sacks.
Come his junior year, Slovis struggled. He dealt with an injury to his throwing elbow in 2021 and went 4-8 with just 11 touchdowns to eight interceptions before hitting the transfer portal and heading east to Pitt.
Kedon Slovis later landed at BYU.
Now, after going 7-4 with the Panthers in 2022, Slovis is on his third program in five years. Considering that he is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU made for an interesting move. It is one that he does not regret.
Slovis chose the Cougars because of the fit. BYU had an opening at his position, the offense caters to his strengths, and he has ties to the school through noted quarterback trainer John Beck.
I was searching for someone who sees the game the way I do. [BYU’s] offense is a lot like the one from my freshman year at SC. Knowing [offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick] was my coach made me feel good about the situation here.— Kedon Slovis, via The Salt Lake Tribune
The decision had nothing to do with money. That can’t be said about every move that takes place in the modern era of Name, Image and Likeness. Financial opportunity, as much as playing opportunity, factors into the bigger transfer portal equation.
Just not for Slovis. He turned down multiple offers from SEC programs with bigger pocket books.
When we were recruiting him, he was getting NIL offers from SEC schools. But he never asked us for a dime. He didn’t care about the money. He cared about the football.– BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick, via The Salt Lake Tribune
Is Slovis signed to some sort of NIL agreement with one of BYU’s collectives? Likely so. It’s hard to imagine that the starting quarterback at a Big-12 program is not getting compensated in some capacity.
Still, though, it sounds like Slovis had a chance to get paid in the SEC, but kept his focus on the task at hand — finding success in his final year of college and making it to the NFL. The money will come!