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BYU adds former Boise State QB, returned missionary Cade Fennegan

Boise State quarterback Cade Fennegan (8) throws the ball against the BYU defense during the second half in an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Boise, Idaho. BYU won 51-17. Fennegan announced he is transferring to BYU.

Boise State quarterback Cade Fennegan (8) throws the ball against the BYU defense during the second half in an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Boise, Idaho. BYU won 51-17. Fennegan announced he is transferring to BYU. (Steve Conner, Associated Press)



PROVO — Cade Fennegan's biggest game as a Boise State quarterback came against BYU, when the one-time fourth-string quarterback entered the game after multiple injuries to the signal caller in a 51-17 loss a year ago.

His next big game will likely come in a BYU uniform.

After entering the transfer portal amid a coaching change in Boise, Fennegan announced his decision to transfer to BYU on social media Thursday. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound freshman from Dallas, Texas, has four years of eligibility remaining after playing in three games during the COVID-19 affected season of 2020.

Fennegan made his collegiate debut Oct. 31 against Air Force, rushing for three yards in mop-up duty behind entrenched starter Hank Bachmeier. But the recently returned missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Argentina will best be known for his Nov. 6 performance against the Cougars.

Originally the fourth-string quarterback, Fennegan made the three-man depth chart against BYU due to injuries, and when the two other signal callers went down injured, his number was called.

He finished the game completing 15 of 26 passes for 182 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Cougars' first-ever win over Boise State on the Blue Turf of Albertsons Stadium. He also played briefly a week later against Colorado State, but when health stabilized in the Broncos' camp, he returned to his spot buried on the depth chart.

When former Boise State coach Bryan Harsin left to take the Auburn job and was replaced by Andy Avalos, Fennegan entered the transfer portal prior to popping up in Provo. The second-year freshman went through spring practices with Avalos and new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Plough, but opted to transfer shortly after camp ended.

"I'm excited to announce that I've been offered a scholarship to play at BYU and will be transferring there this fall," Fennegan said Thursday, thanking BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick in a tweet.

Boise State was Fennegan's highest-profile offer out of Woodrow High in Dallas, after the former two-star quarterback by 247 Sports had offers from New Mexico State, Abilene Christian, North Texas and Southern Miss. He also received interest from USC, Arizona and Arizona State, among others, but originally planned to join the Mean Green after serving a two-year church mission.

When former North Texas offensive coordinator Graham Harrell left for a job at USC while Fennegan was serving, he reopened his recruitment. Harsin conducted the entire recruitment by email, and the 6-foot-2 signal caller who threw for 6,454 yards and 94 touchdowns en route to 25 wins in high school committed to the Broncos while his father Garth held his phone up to the family's computer on a Skype call so that Cade Fennegan could deliver the news himself.

When the younger Fennegan returned home from Argentina two months early due to the pandemic, he signed as part of the Broncos' 2020 recruiting class and departed for Boise.

"It's been a pretty interesting few months, to say the least," Garth Fennegan told The Athletic at the time.

Fennegan joins a crowded quarterback room at BYU, but one that could use the depth. Ever since junior breakout star Zach Wilson was selected No. 2 overall in last April's NFL draft by the New York Jets, Jaren Hall, Baylor Romney and freshman Jacob Conover have been locked in a battle to be his replacement.

Fennegan may enter the conversation, but he'll likely join backups Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, former Pleasant Grove standout Jake Jensen, sophomore Rhett Reilly and Nick Billoups — a walk-on transfer from Utah — lower on the depth chart.

BYU opens the 2021 season Sept. 4 against Arizona in Las Vegas. The Cougars host Boise State on Oct. 9.

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