During the BYU Football Media Day LaVell Edwards joined us for some discussion on the quarterback legacy. We caught a glimpse of his personality and the rapport he had with his players. So here is a one-liner and a few stories from the day:
On Ty Detmer:
Dave McCann: Coach, what did Ty [Detmer] do for you?
LaVell Edwards (with a chuckle): He kept me employed.
On recruiting Ty Detmer:
"We’d had a pretty good run at quarterbacks when he came along. We tried to recruit a kid named John Elway. We tried to recruit other big names out of high school. We couldn’t even get them to come for a visit. So this kid down in Texas had all kinds of stats. He threw more in a game in high school there than we did for a couple of seasons… He committed for a visit. Between his junior and senior year, he and his father took a trip to look around. The first time I saw him, they opened the door and there’s this little guy there. He had an Adam’s apple bigger than his biceps. He probably weighed 145 pounds or something like that… We sat down and his dad, who was also his high school coach, said, ‘Well, coach, if you want him, he’s yours.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Something’s wrong here. I wonder what film they sent me.’ … I looked at him and I was expecting to see John Elway and I saw Pee Wee Herman. … He came after his senior year, and he wasn’t in camp four or five days when Norm Chow came in and told me, ‘I think we’ve got something very, very special here.’"
On Jim McMahon:
"One of the great stories about Jim was in the Holiday Bowl. Somewhere in the fourth quarter with about seven minutes left, it’s fourth down and we’re behind 20 points and had no chance to win it, so I sent the punting team in. Jim was in the huddle, and he looked up and saw the punting team coming in. He stopped, stepped out of the huddle and motioned for them to get back. The team stopped and turned around and looked at us. We were saying, “Get in there. Get in.” He didn’t want to, so finally we called a time out. Jim came over to the sideline and in his own [special] way he said something like, ‘Golly gee guys’ or something like that. He made the point, ‘You coaches have quit.’ He really got into our faces, and we said relax, go back in. We let him call the play on that fourth down. We went on down the field and scored."
On a big moment in his career:
"I remember my first year, Utah had historically pretty well owned BYU up to that point. We were playing up there in Salt Lake City. I can’t remember what the score was. Dev Duke was our placekicker. He would kick barefoot. It was the last game of the year, and it was really cold out there. He kicked about a 50-yard field goal in the last seconds of the game and we beat them. At that time I had no clue that I could stay employed... We won only six or seven games that year."