Over the last couple of months, speculation had Taysom Hill following his former head coach, Bronco Mendenhall, to Virginia. Or joining up with Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.
Instead, the quarterback will end his collegiate career right where he started it.
On Twitter Tuesday afternoon, Hill tweeted a confirmation that he will be back at BYU for one more season. A short time later, further confirmation came from the football program in the form of a press release. Hill informed his coaches, including new head coach Kalani Sitake, of his decision earlier in the day.
— Taysom Hill (@T_Hill4) February 16, 2016
“Taysom is a proven commodity and is a great leader for our football team,” Sitake said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him back for one more year.”
Hill will still need to go through the process of getting a medical waiver for another season of eligibility, although approval should be nearly a no-brainer. His 2014 season was cut short because of injury after just four complete games, while his 2015 season ended after just one game; the latter is the virtual guarantee of a waiver. His 2012 season also ended prematurely after an injury, although he played in six games and that won’t factor into the appeal for a waiver.
The return of Hill will set up an interesting dynamic at the quarterback position for the Cougars. Following his Lisfranc injury in the opener against Nebraska, Hill was replaced by Tanner Mangum, who proceeded to beat the Cornhuskers on a Hail Mary. A week later, Mangum pulled off a last-minute miracle again.
As Hill’s replacement, Mangum completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,377 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In Hill’s best season, his only healthy season in 2013, he too completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,938 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Hill, though, offers something Mangum can’t — the ability to beat opposing defenses with his legs.
In that 2013 season, Hill ran for 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns. In 13 games this past season, Mangum ran for minus-96 yards.
Another added dynamic? Former BYU quarterbacking great Ty Detmer is the Cougars’ new offensive coordinator, so both players should come in with a clean slate.