Keelan Marion undeterred by BYU’s ‘outside’ expectations. Here’s why

BYU wide receiver Keelan Marion (17) catches a 37-yard pass against Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 in Lawrence, Kan. Marion is tuning out the outside noise from BYU’s naysayers. | Colin E. Braley, Associated Press

Among the rhetoric at this week’s Big 12 football media days in Las Vegas will be the lofty expectations for the University of Utah in its conference debut and the lowly projections for BYU, which was elevated to Power Four status and joined the league last year.

“We learned that when we come to show up, we need to be ready. We understand we need to be ready no matter what. No matter who goes down, the next guy has to be up.”

BYU receiver Keelan Marion

The Cougars and Utes will settle their differences in a face-to-face encounter Nov. 9 in Salt Lake City. Neither side will require any extra motivation as the rivals meet as conference foes for the first time since 2010; however, as for the other 11 games on the schedule, BYU’s less-than-positive prognostications might serve as a catalyst for a surprise or two.

“They can keep them that low. We’ll prove them wrong,” junior receiver Keelan Marion told the “Y’s Guys” podcast last week. “They can keep them right there (at 4.5 wins). They are going to see. We’re coming!”

BYU jumped out to a 5-2 start last year before losing grad-transfer quarterback Kedon Slovis to a season-ending injury at Texas. The Cougars ended the year beset by mistakes and stung by five straight defeats.

The team reports to fall camp July 30. BYU remains unsettled at quarterback with Jake Retzlaff and Gerry Bohanon resuming their battle in practice. The guys they will be throwing to, however, are back healthy and better educated in their preparation.

“We learned that when we come to show up, we need to be ready,” Marion said. “We understand we need to be ready no…


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