Taysom Hill named starting quarterback
PROVO, Utah – The BYU football coaches named Taysom Hill as the starting quarterback following practice on Tuesday at the Student Athlete Building fields. Read below for quotes from coaches and players from after practice.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
Naming a starting QB
Tanner (Mangum) did great, there was great competition. We felt it was the right timing. We talked about it over the weekend and we would’ve announced it yesterday, but we had no media. It isn’t a secret anymore. We’re really excited to get going and have him play. Tanner will play—he’s not redshirting or anything. We’ll roll with that and see how it goes this season.
Starting QB factors
There are a lot of different things that factor into it. Production on the field is what wins and we talked about how it would be settled on the field. I’ll leave it at that. The best guy won and a great player was in second place. It’s a great spot to be in, where we know we have two ones competing for it. We felt that Taysom was the guy who earned a spot.
On making the decision
It was a really hard decision because you have some guys who have good days and bad days. Consistency was one thing we wanted to look at and both were really good consistently. We felt this was going to be right. Going into it, I think Tanner is way better than he was a year ago, just with that experience of being on the field. There are some things that Tanner brings to the table that Taysom can’t, and there are things Taysom does that Tanner can’t. For the team and where we sit right now, this is the right move for us… Now let’s move on and get ready for Arizona.
Shutting down fall camp
We started prepping for Arizona. We’re still conditioning and ironing out a few things, going through game mechanics. We’re going to have a scrimmage Thursday. The physical part has been handled mostly. I feel really good about that.
Statement of BYU fans buying more tickets at Arizona
We have a lot of fans in Arizona. A lot of people are close and will travel and make the game. Being able to do the firesides and fan fests and seeing the support we have throughout the nation has been really impressive. We’ll have fans at every place we play.
We’re working through the depth chart. I think the quarterback was one we had to get out there. We’d like to have a depth chart out soon. There are still some positions — specifically the opposite corner of Michael Davis. That’s one we’re still competing with. We have some positions where we’re going to play two guys.
Last scrimmage on Thursday
I’d like to have everything settled on Saturday, who’s going to be taking the first snap in the Arizona game. I think for the most part, we need to see whom can we trust to get reps in that game. It’s going to require more than just 11 guys on defense and offense. There are a lot of guys we can trust, but it’s going to be the one rotating in and who’s going to be third.
Ty’s autonomy in selecting a QB
Ty is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, so he will have the first say in everything we do with our quarterback position and then I will give my opinion. On this one, we were really on the same page. We’ve been on the same page with just about everything. There are a few things we’ll discuss and argue about, but that’s a given when you’re putting together a football team.
Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach Ty Detmer
On how the offense is looking
Pretty good. We are kind of scaling back a little bit, so I think we are trying to start a little Arizona prep. We are dialing in the game plan and so with that, really focusing on what guys are more comfortable with and then always throwing in a wrinkle here or there just to make sure they are staying on top of things.
On how close they are on naming a starting quarterback
We talked as a staff this weekend, and Taysom is going to be our starter. He is excited about that, we are excited to see him go again, and so that is the plan going in and that is where we are at.
What led to that decision?
He is 100% healthy and he is a 5th-year senior. He turns 26 today, so he has the experience and the leadership of the group. We feel real comfortable with him in there and going full speed. Tanner handled it great. He has worked and he made it a tough decision, which is great. We feel really good with both those guys, and he is going to be ready to do when called upon and there is no doubt about that. We are excited and know that both will be able to win games for us.
Two-quarterback game plan at all?
No. I have never been a fan of that, and so right now the plan is that Taysom is our guy. He has done it every year, he has been a Heisman candidate the last couple years—last year he didn’t really get a chance to do it—so they are both great players, and Tanner is obviously a big part of the program going forward.
How challenging the decision was
That’s not the fun part, from a coaching standpoint, having to tell guys that they are not going to play. It was very challenging because I know Tanner is a great quarterback. You kind of rely on some of the past experiences here at BYU with Jim McMahon and Mark Wilson and other guys, and then experiences I have had in that situation, and the best thing is just to let guys know and to be honest with them going forward. But we still think Tanner is a big part of the program, maybe this year, maybe week one, like last year.
Senior QB Taysom Hill
It was great coming back senior year. This obviously wasn’t ideal being here for four years and then coming back and being in a quarterback battle. I felt like I got a lot better because of it. I felt the situation was handled really well. It’s nice to be able to look forward and start to prepare for Arizona.
On your injury and rehab
This injury since day one has been so different from other ones I’ve been through. It is nice to be on the backside of it and to look back at the things I’ve gone through. Now about a year out of surgery I’m feeing really good and healthy and ready to go. Now getting the nod going into Arizona, it’s a little bittersweet. It’s fun to look back and see everything I’ve been through.
How reps changed since being named QB
A lot. I probably get 80% of the reps.
Confidence with being starting QB
Today we sat down together and put together our script and started piecing everything together for Arizona. We’ll start to rep those and Coach Detmer has a really good idea of what I like now so we’ll start to put it together and make sure everyone else is comfortable with it and get ready to go.
Offense stretched to what you can do
When you think of an offense growing up, this is what it is. You understand when you’re dropping back and making reads and throwing the ball and you get to the line of scrimmage and you’re making checks. This is what I grew up thinking I was going to be playing as a quarterback. It’s a fun offense to part of. We added some nuances to the offense that fit my skill set that will be hard to defend.
On Tanner’s reaction
I spoke to Tanner afterwards and he is super supportive. Tanner and I have been good friends through this whole thing, and I think him and I were both able to help each other get better through the process. It’s great to have a guy like Tanner on the sidelines. Last year and the year before, when I came off the sidelines, the first guy I would go to was the backup quarterback because he knows the plays and he can look at things that I wasn’t looking at and we would converse. I’m excited to be able to work with him that way. I’ve felt only love and support for him through this whole thing.
Anything holding you back from a mental or physical standpoint
No. It’s all behind me. I’ve been through this three times. I’ll tell you for me from a mental standpoint, all I needed to hear was my doctor telling me I’m healed and healthy and I’m good to go. I’ve gotten that the three different times and gone out and played and it hasn’t been a thought at all.
Level of talent this year compared to others before
I think we’re just as good. There are no drop-offs at any position. I do think the style of offense we’re playing will allows us to be a little better because we won’t have to rotate as much as we have traditionally in the past, so our starters and main guys will be able to take the majority of the reps. The previous seasons haven’t been that way because we went so fast there was no huddle. I don’t think that will be the case this year.