BYU quarterback Taysom Hill will return to the field this fall for his sixth season. The idea is that this season ends in a drastically different manner than the last two.
In 2014, Hill threw for 975 yards and seven scores while rushing for 463 more with eight touchdowns before his season was ended by a leg fracture against Utah State in the Cougars’ fifth game of the season.
Hill’s unfortunate circumstances created an opportunity for Nike. Speaking to reporters during BYU’s media days, Hill said Nike’s engineers are using him as a case study for specially designed shoes working to prevent re-injury.
“I have custom-made shoe inserts since surgery and I’ll wear those in the offseason, also Nike is building a shoe that gives me more support through the arch and I’ll include my orthotics as an insole on top of that,” he told Deseret News.
“The ones I have already now have been molding to my foot specifically. Nike is building an additional support in my arch as well. I’m part of Nike’s research and development and I’m sort of the guinea pig to be a part of it. We are literally exhausting every avenue to recover and to stay healthy and make sure my foot doesn’t make limitations.”
With the foot injury solved — hopefully — Hill will move on to his next challenge: holding off sophomore Tanner Mangum for the job. Mangum threw for 3,377 yards and 23 touchdowns while carrying the offense in Hill’s absence.
But with all Hill has been through to be on the field, he’ll enjoy his extra time on the field and play in the Taysom Hill way that he plays.
“I’m going to go out and give it all I can and it isn’t going to be on my mind that I might get hurt. If it happens, it happens and I’ll be OK with whatever does happen.
“I just want to play. I really don’t have any expectation. I went through rehabbing for four months, got injured, had another eight months and then played one quarter with a healthy foot and I just want to play. I just want to be in the stadium, be with my teammates. You cannot replicate that environment.”