Hill Leads Thin BYU QB Corps into 2014

Hill Leads Thin BYU QB Corps into 2014

Taysom Hill burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2013, recording over 4,200 yards of total offense as he assumed the reigns of BYU's offense. Hill will be expected to improve on those numbers, especially in the passing game, as BYU enters 2014 with thin depth behind their star quarterback.

The Skinny

Taysom Hill entered 2013 with a lot of expectations heaped on his shoulders. Former BYU Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae returned and tooled his entire offense around the abilities of the dynamic Hill. Hill had a slow start to the season in the passing game, struggling to complete passes but improved steadily throughout the season to finish with a 53.9% completion percentage on the year. Hill finished the season 236/438 for 2,938 yards 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. During spring camp, Bronco Mendenhall stated he and his offensive coaches had strict goals for the offense to accomplish in the passing game, especially in terms of completion percentage. Following BYU's spring scrimmage, Robert Anae said that the goal for his offense, and Taysom Hill in particular, was to maintain a 65% completion percentage or higher. If Hill can hover at 65% or push it higher, you'll see BYU's offense become that much more dynamic in 2014.

No one will question Taysom Hill's abilities to gash opposing defense for huge chunks of yardage. Hill racked up 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013 on 246 attempts, giving him the 2nd best season for a quarterback rushing the ball in BYU history. Hill's legs will surely be the focus of opposing defensive schemes in 2014, making his improvement as a passer all the more critical for BYU to improve as a team. Taysom has bulked up this season to deal with added punishment, weighing in at 228-pounds during spring ball. If 2013 is any indicator of the future, expect Hill to team with Jamaal Williams in forming one of the most dangerous rushing duos in all of college football once again.

The Players

Taysom Hill is in no danger of losing his starting status heading into 2014 but the big question is the players behind him. Hill's backup in 2013, Ammon Olsen, transferred to Southern Utah during the offseason, leaving senior Christian Stewart and sophomore Billy Green as Hill's primary backups going into 2014. True freshman Hunter Moore from San Marcos High School (CA) was 4th on the depth chart during spring ball and reports are that former Jordan High School (UT) star McCoy Hill will be given an opportunity to compete at the quarterback position upon his return from his LDS mission.

Christian Stewart is a capable backup who can run the Go Fast, Go Hard offense in Hill's stead without much disruption to the play calling. Stewart ran a spread system during his two seasons at the helm playing at Snow College (UT). While he's not in the same class as Hill as an athlete, Stewart will prove more than capable to run BYU's offense if injury forces Hill off the field in 2014.

Billy Green was signed to play at BYU under former Offensive Coordinator Brandon Doman's West Coast Offense, which favored Green's abilities as a quarterback. Much was made about if he would transfer with the return of Robert Anae to BYU, but Green has stuck with the program seeking to re-invent himself as a dual-threat quarterback. Should Hill and Stewart be lost to injury, Green's abilities as more of a pocket-passing quarterback with the ability to scramble would require Coach Anae to adjust his schemes. Green can run but isn't much of a running threat in the read option game.

True freshman Hunter Moore joined BYU for spring ball after serving a mission straight out of high school to Columbus, Ohio. Moore prepped at San Marcos High School in California, which is the same school that produced incoming BYU linebacker Fred Warner and 2016 recruit Troy Warner. Moore will seek to prove his abilities and establish himself on the depth chart at the quarterback position as BYU enters the 2014 season.

McCoy Hill is a former 5A All-State performer at Jordan High School. Hill only had one season to shine as a senior for the Beetdiggers, having backed up Alex Hart waiting for his turn to take the reins. Hill had a stellar senior season, passing for 3,221 yards and 29 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,092 yards and an additional 17 touchdowns in 2011. Hill has ideal size for a quarterback, measuring in at 6-foot 5-inches and 230-pounds. Hill will be given an opportunity during fall camp to work out as a quarterback. If BYU coaches feel that Hill isn't the answer at quarterback they will be able to move him back to tight end or linebacker to take advantage of his athletic ability.

Future Depth at Quarterback

BYU has hit the pavement hard looking to shore up depth at quarterback looking towards the 2015 season. Rumors abound that Taysom Hill might consider declaring for the NFL Draft after the 2014 season if he has another solid season statistics-wise. Hill's departure would leave BYU looking at recent BYU commit and January enrollee Trent Hosick, Billy Green, Hunter Moore, and McCoy Hill potentially, with the expected return of former Elite 11 Camp MVP Tanner Mangum to BYU from his LDS Mission.

The BYU coaching staff has been combing the nation looking for talent that could be brought in to compete at the quarterback position and they have identified some viable prospects. They have targeted former Missouri quarterback Trent Hosick, who visited BYU this past weekend. Hosick's film shows a dynamic athlete with an unrefined arm but he's very high on BYU. Hosick received a scholarship offer while on his visit to BYU and pulled the trigger Monday night when he committed to BYU. Hosick will play this upcoming season at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College before enrolling at BYU in January. BYU also recently offered a scholarship to Kody Wilstead from Pine View High School in St. George, UT as well. Wilstead is a big-armed pocket passer with the ability to scramble if needed. Roosevelt High School (OR) product Kimane Domena has a contingent offer from BYU but it is unclear if he will play quarterback at the FBS level. The Cougars have also been in contact with JUCO QB Robert Phillips, a product out of Golden Valley High School in Merced, CA. Phillips will play this upcoming season at Los Angeles Pierce College. Phillips is already qualified with the NCAA so he could transfer after only one season at Pierce with 4 years to play 3 at the FBS level.

Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae and Quarterbacks Coach Jason Beck will continue to scout and evaluate talent throughout this off-season as they look to add depth to the position. The ideal scenario for BYU would be for Hill to standout in 2014 and decide to return for his senior year, thus allowing BYU to groom a successor, whether that is Tanner Mangum or Trent Hosick, to take the reins in 2016.

2014 BYU Quarterback Depth Chart

Starter: Taysom Hill (Jr.)
Backups: Christian Stewart(Sr.)
Billy Green (So.)
Hunter Moore (Fr.)
McCoy Hill (Fr.)

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