BYU Football: Heismanology: Taysom Hill


Can BYU’s talented junior quarterback, not only be a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, could he win it?

As BYU was getting ready to take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu to close out the 1990 regular season, the entire squad waited anxiously on that December night in paradise to hear if their leader at quarterback, Ty Detmer, would bring home college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman.

After an announcement from a member of the Downtown Athletic Club in New York, Detmer had won the Heisman Trophy that night, earning the distinction as college football’s best player, in only his junior year.

Nowadays the thought of a non-Senior winning the Heisman is the norm. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, it was rare when a player that wasn’t a senior took home the Heisman. Detmer was a rare talent that had the country hooked after taking down #1 Miami, ties and all.

Flash forward to 2014. BYU has another rare talent lining up under center in his junior year, and like Ty Detmer, took down one of college football’s iconic powers in week two.

Dec 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; The Heisman Trophy is seen during a press conference before the announcement of the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Say hello to Taysom Hill America. It’s time to start putting him on your Heisman ballots, because this guy isn’t going anywhere for a while this season.

After BYU’s season-opening win at UConn, there was some talk about Taysom being a Heisman contender in 2014, but after the dominating win in Texas the Heisman talk is now turning into, can he win the thing?

Hill’s hurdle over the Texas defense instantly had the feeling of a quintessential “Heisman Moment”. Not only is Taysom BYU’s MVP, but the way he plays the game is going to get peoples attention. Athletes who can devastate the opposition in a multitude of ways always intrigue viewers, and BYU will have a national audience on a weekly basis to display this talented junior’s skills.

BYU has had other Heisman campaigns since Detmer took home the award in 1990.   In 2001, quarterback Brandon Doman won over the Cougar faithful at the end of his junior year to send legendary head coach, Lavell Edwards, off into the sunset with a win over the rival Utes after starting the 2000 season as a wide receiver. LaVell’s successor, Gary Crowton, came in and brought a high-powered offense that was geared around Doman and running back Luke Staley. The two became one of the most potent duos in the history of BYU Football.

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After a month into the 2001 season, BYU launched a Heisman campaign for Doman, as the Cougars were undefeated at the time. They coined their campaign around the popular movie at the time, Gladiator, and decided to title their campaign, “The Domanator.”

In 2008 & 2009, Max Hall was considered a Heisman contender early in those respective seasons but losses in key games caused Hall to fizzle out by season’s end for national honors.

Many Heisman Polls right now have Taysom nestled within the top 10 candidates. What would it take for him to get a visit to New York City in December, and to ultimately win the thing?

Here’s my Heismanology breakdown for Taysom:

  • BYU MUST be undefeated

As I mentioned earlier, Max Hall fizzled out on his campaign due to losses to marquee programs like TCU and Florida State. Taysom needs to lead BYU to their first undefeated season since 1984.

  • Fill up the stat sheet

250 passing yards with close to 100 yards on the ground on a weekly basis will keep the Mormon Tebow in the discussion.

  • Make “WOW” plays

Hurdling over Texas defenders en route to a touchdown was a prime example of a wow play that Taysom will need to deliver on a regular basis. Make the plays that will have millions of loops on Vine, or plays that will end up with people tweeting, “TAYSOM THE MORMON TEBOW.GIF!”

It’s been a few years since the Cougars could lay claim to having one of the nation’s best players, BYU fans should cherish it. The ride with Taysom in 2014 could end up being a very special one.

Do you think Taysom has a shot at winning the Heisman? Post your thoughts in the comments section or tweet us @LawlessRepublic.