Brigham Young University ‘nothing but supportive,’ its Jewish quarterback says 
Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. Credit: Dalee Despain/Wikipedia.

“Maybe some are thinking the Jews aren’t doing too well right now because, frankly, we are not,” Jake Retzlaff said on the podcast Y’s Guys.

By JNS Staff Report
May 22, 2024

The Jewish quarterback of the men’s football team at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-associated Brigham Young University often likes to talk football rather than politics.

“Other times, I’m like, ‘Yeah, it is definitely a big deal, especially in today’s political climate,'” Jake Retzlaff told the Y’s Guys podcast. “There is not enough good news in the world, period. So, you might as well be some of it.”

The 6 foot 1 inch-tall Corona, Calif. native, who is majoring in exercise science and says he is the team’s best ping pong player, is the son of Steve and Max Retzlaff, per the BYU website. He has often been photographed wearing a Star of David necklace.

He wears number 12 and was ranked the top quarterback in a 2023 ESPN ranking for Junior College 50, and 46th overall.

Retzlaff said that “it is good news that there is a Jewish starting quarterback at BYU.”

“That’s good news because maybe some thought it was impossible,” he added. “And, maybe some are thinking the Jews aren’t doing too well right now because, frankly, we are not, with Israel being in the state that it is constantly in—and even worse now, and the political climate all over campuses in America right now is unbelievable.”

The Jewish quarterback said he is grateful that BYU has been “nothing but supportive” he has been able to grow in his Jewish faith.

He plays on Shabbat and said by playing in front of millions that he is “repping my faith as proudly as I possibly can” and loves “being a beacon of Judaism in front of all those people.”

“It’s so much easier to grow in your faith when you are around people of faith. It’s simple,” he added. “Surround yourself with people of faith because you will become like them and that’s how it’s been. I’ve been able to grow in my faith as a Jew.”

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