Aaron Roderick – Brigham Young University

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Aaron Roderick is the 2020 FootballScoop Quarterbacks Coach of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

BYU was one of the surprise teams of the 2020 college football season, and BYU quarterback Zach Wilson undoubtedly one of the breakout stars.

An unheralded recruit, Wilson started off-and-on as a freshman and sophomore in 2018-19. His results were so-so over those two campaigns, hitting 64 percent of his passes for 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He did not throw a touchdown while tossing four interceptions in the final games of BYU’s 2019 season.

However, Wilson was a revelation in 2020.

His accuracy jumped nearly 10 full points over his career mark, hitting 247 of his 336 throws, good for a 73.5 percent completion rate that trailed only Alabama’s Mac Jones nationally (without the benefit of multiple first-round picks on the receiving end).

Credit: Salt Lake Tribune https://www.sltrib.com/sports/byu-cougars/2021/01/04/byus-aaron-roderick-is/

Wilson did not sacrifice accuracy for explosion. Quite the opposite, in fact. After averaging 7.5 yards per attempt in 2019, he rocketed to an even 11 yards per throw (a 47% increase), as he turned 336 passes into 3,692 yards. He also tossed 33 touchdowns against just three interceptions, making him the only player in the country to throw more than 33 touchdowns and less than five picks.

In all, Wilson’s 196.43 efficiency rating trailed only Jones and would’ve set an FBS record as recently as 2016.

Wilson tossed at least three touchdowns and no picks six times in 12 games and averaged at least 12 yards per attempt a half-dozen times. That includes a 23-of-27 effort for 392 yards (14.5 per attempt) with two touchdowns and no picks in a 48-7 rout of Troy and a 24-of-26 game for 325 yards in a 45-14 drubbing of Louisiana Tech. Wilson led BYU to its first win at Boise State by a hitting 22-of-28 throws for 360 yards (12.9 per) with three touchdowns and no picks in a 51-17 blowout, and he closed the year by dropping 425 yards and three touchdowns on 34 attempts in a 49-23 demolition of UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Wilson’s exploits helped BYU finish the year at No. 11 in the AP poll, the program’s highest year-end ranking since 1996. So successful was the 2020 campaign for Wilson that the former 3-star recruit declared early for the NFL Draft and is expected to become a first-round pick.

An All-American return specialist at Ricks College, Roderick transferred to BYU and helped the Cougars to a Cotton Bowl victory and AP Top 5 ranking in 1996. Upon his 1998 graduation, he he entered coaching as a GA at his alma mater and has spent his entire career in Utah. He was Snow College’s running backs coach for the 2002 season, spent 2003-04 as the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at Southern Utah, then spent 12 seasons at Utah coaching wide receivers and quarterbacks. He returned to Provo in 2018 and was promoted to offensive coordinator last month.

“Aaron is the right person to take over as our offensive coordinator,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “Jeff (Grimes) did a tremendous job as offensive coordinator and Aaron is the perfect choice to help us build. I know firsthand the exceptional coach Aaron is from working on the same staff for 15 years during our careers. He is an experienced play-caller and coordinator and a great mentor and teacher. I’m thrilled to have Aaron as our new offensive coordinator.”

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Eric Evans [Western Michigan], Brian Johnson [Florida], Willy Korn [Coastal Carolina], Steve Sarkisian [Alabama] and Roderick) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

Previous winners of the Quarterbacks Coach of the Year award are Josh Heupel (Oklahoma, 2008), Tom Rossley (Texas A&M, 2009), Mark Helfrich (Oregon, 2010 and 2012), Philip Montgomery (Baylor, 2011), Randy Sanders (Florida State, 2013), Kevin McGiven (Utah State, 2014), Mike Sanford (Notre Dame, 2015), Tyson Helton (USC, 2016), Jim Chaney (Georgia, 2017), Tom Rees (Notre Dame, 2018), and Steve Ensminger (LSU, 2019).

keystats

2nd Nationally – Passing Efficiency           2nd Nationally – Completion Percentage
3rd Nationally – Yards Per Attempt           National best 33-3 TD-to-INT ratio

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.