Every Heisman winner has that moment, that jaw-dropping moment that endures and says, yes, you are the best college football player in America – or at least the most valuable.
For BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, that moment came in a 41-7 rout of Texas in Austin on Sept. 6. Hill dropped back to pass, saw no one open and took off toward the end zone. Thirty yards later, he hit pay-dirt, this after hurdling a Texas defender at the 7-yard line and continuing untouched for the score.
“It was a broken play,” Hill said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Texas had dropped into coverage. They covered everything downfield, but they didn’t have a guy there to spy me. So once I saw everybody take off, I saw a pretty good lane for me to run so I took it. I was able to out-run some of their linebackers. Their safety came down and kind of came at an angle. It happened so fast, but they had been diving at my knees for most of the game, and so he came at that angle – and before I knew it, I took a leap of faith and luckily I was able to get over him and into the end zone.”
Hill’s touchdown gave BYU (4-0) a 13-0 lead and launched the junior quarterback into the Heisman race. Hill has thrown for 876 passing yards, rushed for 428 and has 13 touchdowns (six pass, seven rush).
At this rate, Hill is a safe bet to be invited to New York.
“It’s a fun conversation to be in, to be honest,” Hill said. “Growing up, I think that’s something like a childhood dream. It’s out there. You think of how neat it would be to have an opportunity to compete and be in the conversation with something like that. So it is fun. It’s an honor. But honestly, I do my best to not pay too much attention to it, to kind of stay out of the media and worry about the things that I can control. Those things that I can control (are) how well we as an offensive unit play (and) how well I play. Hopefully what I do on the field (and) off the field will be good enough to have an opportunity to be in a situation where I’m in New York at the end of the year.”
Hill, with all due respect to Jameis Winston, should have a decided advantage in the off-the-field department, as he performed a two-year mission trip in Sydney, Australia.
“It was a great experience,” Hill said. “Beautiful country, great people. I love the two years that I was there. I was able to experience a lot, and (it) gave me a lot of life lessons that I’ve been able to apply today.”
The most important lesson learned?
“Gratitude,” Hill said. “Being grateful for the things that I do have . . . and understanding what I’ve been given.”