6 Reasons You Should Remember Brigham Young University’s Taysom Hill
Why Taysom Hill Will Be Remembered
Towards the beginning of the college football season, I am more than overly confident that the title and subject matter of this article would have lead more than just a few people hidden within the mountains of Utah to call me crazy.
However, here we stand with approximately five weeks left in college football matchups, and seeing Taysom Hill as a force to be reckoned with is appearing to be more and more of a believable dream.
The first time I really paid attention to the sophomore quarterback out of Brigham Young University, it was during the Holy War to end all Holy Wars -- when BYU faced their close rivals, the University of Utah Utes.
I found myself caught in the crosshairs of this rivalry, as it seems a majority of the people I know are divided right down the line of rivalry between these two teams. I did end up rooting for the Utes in the end, because I saw this QB, Hill, as a joke who lacked the ability to outsmart the superior Utah defense.
But, time has run its course and Hill has greatly improved. There are a multitude of reasons why we should all remember the name Taysom Hill and the No. 4, but there are a few reasons that stand out to me.
These reasons, and undoubtedly more, make Hill the complete package. These reasons make it okay for people like Tony Barnhart of CBS Sports to make comments where he mentions Hill and Heisman in the same sentence.
While Hill may only be a sophomore and have a lot of time to prove that he is worthy of Heisman buzz, he is wasting no time giving his skeptics something to believe in. Hill may fall short in winning any awards this season, but his future is indeed bright.
6. Hill Has Rallied The Cougar Offense
This past season has seen a rebirth of the BYU offensive coaching staff. Bronco Mendenhall made the move after the team finished 8-5 for the season in a tie for 64th in scoring (28.7 points per game) and 60th in total offense (400.38 yards per game).
Naturally, some lag was to be expected this season. The players needed time to catch up to Mendenhall’s fantastical offensive dreams of grandeur. It almost seemed to take too long for BYU fans and skeptics alike. However, Hill has turned around his offense and rallied them behind his success. The QB and the offense have an extremely balanced relationship -- the success of one is dependent upon the success of the other. The team and the coaching staff are on the road to turning those horrendous numbers from the start of the season around, thanks to the skills of Hill and vice versa. Hill is learning how to work with his offense and his offense is learning how to work with him.
5. Hill Is Gaining Momentum Playing A Variety Of Teams
Hill said it best himself when he said, "Being independent has given us a lot of opportunities to travel and see a lot of different venues and be in different environments."
While strength of schedule is of vital importance to any team on their way to the top, I would also argue that a diversity of schedule is also a key factor in improving game play. BYU has had the opportunity to expose themselves to a variety of playing environments and teams with varying levels of difficulty. The matchup between the Cougars and the Wisconsin Badgers was previously thought of as an impending slaughter on the part of Wisconsin, but now has the smell of upset in the air.
Hill has had the opportunity to throw and run against such a wide range of teams, that I feel it will help him to develop increasing intelligence on the field and help him learn how to read his opponents better.
4. Hill Has The Ability To Improve
Hill currently sits with a 65.4 percent completion of his passes over his last five games. This may seem disappointing in the face of the numbers of the Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. However, his numbers have improved astronomically from the beginning of the season when his pass completion was laughably half that of his current percentage.
Hill has likewise improved his passing efficiency from 74.2 in the first three games of the season to 157.1, a number that would put him 15th in the country.
Again, his numbers may be low in these categories compared to the current greats we witness out on the field, but his ability to show that he can improve, and improve so rapidly, is impressive and something to note. Even further, his ability to improve as a reflection of the team's ability to improve is something that future NFL scouts should remember. You want a guy who can work well with the team and improve with the team.
3. Hill Is Just Plain Fast
You could almost leave it at that: Hill is fast. He is putting up blinding numbers so far this season, despite his slow start with his passing game. For example, Hill rushed for 259 yards in BYU’s 40-21 win over Texas back in the second week. He is currently 20th in the nation for rushing, averaging 105.1 yards per game.
There’s no doubt about it, Hill is a runner and he is darn good at it. I am anxious to see how his running game matures next season and simply through the rest of this season. I felt from the beginning that his running ability made him strong, but he was lacking in other areas. His running ability has carried him through to this point where the rest of his skills are becoming more and more developed.
2. Hill Will Be A Record Breaker
Hill can, and will, become the first BYU player to throw for more than 2,000 yards (he is currently at 2,019) and rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. To complete the rushing record, he simply needs 159 more yards this season. Only 21 players in major college football history have achieved this, and Hill is on the fast track to accomplishing this in his sophomore year.
That should conclude most files open on Hill’s ability to be mentioned in the same sentence as Heisman, but there is still one key factor to be discussed.
1. Hill Is An All Around Good Guy
To some, this may seem like a trivial point to argue, but I do not. Hill has done and said all the right things in spite of his critics. He has refused to lash out in pride as he has triumphed over the expectations of his disbelievers. Hill is a polite, soft-spoken, unpretentious and unassuming player. He has taken is role as a leader of the Cougars seriously, and has done it without boasting.
To me, this is all evidence of a strong Heisman candidate for the very near future. The award is, and should remain, about not only the skills of the player receiving it, but also that player’s character -- the characteristics of that player which make them a joy to be on the same team with, win or lose; a player who has the grace to be respected by other players of the game and their fans. Hill has that and is on the road to being remembered.