Months after watching Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton get all the Heisman hype locally, BYU athletics officials finally kicked off a campaign Wed. Oct. 1 in support of Taysom Hill.
In the eyes of many though, it’s probably two weeks too late. Many believe that Hill should have started being hyped for the Heisman after he led the Cougars to a win over Houston on 9-11–when he ran for 160 yards.
Some might even argue that Hill’s performance at Texas–during which he leapt over a player for a rushing TD–was good enough to launch him into the Heisman conversation. It was good enough for Sports Illustrated, who later put him in their Top 10.
On mere statistical comparison alone, Hill probably should have received consideration and a quick Web site push after his first game of the season at UConn–308 in the air, 97 on the ground–but that opponent probably wasn’t big enough to warrant a full-blown Heisman offensive like the one that the school just launched.
Hill’s numbers in and of itself have certainly been on the offensive. He has 876 passing yards, and six touchdown tosses against three interceptions in four games. But, it’s his 428 rushing yards and seven TDs that have national media like Jim Rome and Doug Gottlieb clamoring to have him on their shows–because nobody’s seen this kind of versatility since a guy by the name of Tim Tebow played college football.
Everyone in the galaxy knows what Tebow went on to do at Florida–and Hill, who at 6-foot-2 and 232 pounds is only a junior, appears to be on his way to doing similar things with BYU. The similarities to Tebow aren’t lost on other opposing coaches, either.
Texas head coach Charlie Strong–who was at Florida when Tebow played–was quick to point out the similarities, as was Houston head coach Tony Levine. Even a Virginia linebacker–who had to face Hill head-on–said the BYU QB is a shoo-in to win the Heisman, and that guy played against another Heisman candidate, UCLA QB Brett Hundley.
Utah State head coach Matt Wells, whose team plays Hill’s later this week for the Old Wagon Wheel rivalry trophy, told 1280 The Zone Radio in an interview on Tuesday that Hill looks like an inside linebacker, yet he can run and throw the football as well as anyone in college football.
Hill’s currently running for 107 yards per game, and throwing for 234, making him just as dangerous either way. As Wells pointed out on Tuesday, Hill is a tricky match-up for any team–and with the schedule BYU has, the sky appears to be the limit–even if this Hill for Heisman campaign got off to a rather slow start.