More to come for Hill

In BYU's 2012 season opener against Washington State, true freshman Taysom Hill trotted out onto the field in front of nearly 60,000 fans and threw his first college touchdown. The road from Stanford to BYU was at first difficult, but Hill has come to realize that his decision to transfer was the right one in the end.

The decision to come to BYU came while Taysom Hill was serving in the mission field in Australia. He had been recruited to Stanford by Jim Harbaugh, who later went on to the take the head coaching position with the San Francisco 49ers.

With Harbaugh leaving, Stanford promoted offensive coordinator David Shaw to head coach.

"At that point I knew Coach Shaw and I was comfortable with him as a head coach and his offensive coordinator [abilities] and his ability to coach me and me being in that system. I also found out that Stanford doesn't allow incoming freshmen to come in until June or August.

"At that point Stanford wanted me to come home four or five months early from my mission and be home for the [2011] football season, and I didn't want to do that. So they said I could come home when I did and be at home for four or five months before I could get to school, and I didn't want to do either of those options."

Hill said he was previously unaware that Stanford required new freshmen to enroll early in order to play during the season.

"So, at that point I began to look and began to see what was available to me before my mission and before I signed and committed to Stanford," Hill said. "BYU was definitely up there. And so, you know, BYU was available and I did the things necessary in the mission field without taking away from my responsibilities as a missionary, and did those in order to find out that BYU was where I needed to be. It's been confirmed to me ever since I've been here. It's been a great experience."

The rest is history. Hill signed with BYU following his mission, and in the first game of his college career he received some playing time against Washington State. Having prepared himself throughout the year, Hill was told that his number might be called.

"I was just antsy," said Hill. "I knew at some point we were going to run it, and so I was just waiting to get called up. You know, I wasn't very nervous and, like I said, I felt prepared. I felt confident with the preparation that I started in January ever since I started working out. And so with the preparation that I did starting in January, and then once spring ball, fall camp and practice [started] and the plays that we ran, it was just I needed to go execute."

So, on his first college play, Hill threw a touchdown.

"It was absolutely amazing," Hill said. "It's funny. I was raised watching the Pac-10 because my brother played at Arizona State, so I grew up watching Washington State. It was always a dream of mine to play college football. Thinking about my first collegiate play and what it was, I thought I would be super, super nervous going in front of 64,000 people with it being fourth-and-1. I just didn't think about it and they called the play from the box. I didn't really think about it and luckily it worked out the way it did. It was a great way to start a career and hopefully we can expand that, and as my career goes on hopefully we can have more touchdown passes."

When he took his first snap from the wildcat formation, Hill's original plan was to run the ball.

"I knew it was fourth-and-1 and I knew we needed to get the first down. I had the edge and could have ran it for the first down, and as I was getting ready to tuck and run I saw [Kanueakua Friel] wide open. So, luckily I was able to just throw it over and not do anything too special and just get him the ball for the touchdown.

"It was awesome and I couldn't have imagined it better in my mind. All week in practice I was expecting and hoping to run for a touchdown and wasn't really anticipating that to happen. I couldn't have imagined it any better. My first plan was to run it. It was fourth-and-1 and I knew that we needed to go get the first and I had the corner. I could have gotten it easily and as I looked up and saw Kaneakua come free. They stacked the box and they forgot about my tight end, so it worked out really well and I didn't have to do anything special to get the ball to him and we ended up scoring a touchdown."

Hill is comfortable with the offense and hopes to see his minutes increase as the season wears on.

"I hope so, I hope so especially with how this wildcat worked out against Washington State," said Hill. "We executed it well and did some things really well that teams are going to have to prepare for. Because of our execution, I think it's going to continue to increase. As we get through the season, as we continue to do well, I think that will continue to increase. My role with that will continue to increase. We can do various things off of it [like] run and pass.

"It was a big benefit coming home in January when I did and getting in the weight room and running. Just knowing physically and athletically that I could play with these guys, and as well as going through spring ball and getting comfortable with the offense, I'm comfortable with the things that we're doing and my role with the team right now. With all these different things put together, I have a lot of confidence with the things that we're doing and a lot of trust has been shown in our coaching staff and by the players around me."

With Weber State next on the schedule, could this be a prime opportunity for Hill to get a lot of playing time?

"I certainly hope so," Hill said. "I think it should be that way. I think that we [can] outman Weber State and … hopefully we can have the opportunity to get some other kids some playing time and hopefully I'm on the receiving end of that."

There still is the possibility that Hill could redshirt, however unlikely that is.

"Obviously, I want to play as much as I can, but ultimately that's going to be up to Coach Doman and Coach Mendenhall."

With the early playing time Hill has received as a true freshman, one has to believe this gives him a leg up on the competition once senior quarterback Riley Nelson leaves following this season.

"That's a tough question," Hill said. "You know, Jason Munns and Ammon Olsen are both competitors and good athletes. Right now with the role that I have with this wildcat, I don't know. I'm definitely getting some experience with that regard. It's going to be a battle and I don't think it will be won this season, but it will start in January, so we'll work through this year and see what happens as the season progresses. Hopefully I can get some quality time and get some great experience going into 2013."

Well, BYU fans everywhere hope so, as Hill's future looks bright. And although the decision to not attend Stanford was a difficult one at that time, he's come to realize through personal experiences that he is where he truly needs to be.

"Yeah it was certainly hard, especially with the success that Stanford was having and things like that," said Hill. "But you know, as I look back even before my mission, and with things that happened while I was serving in Australia and things that have happened now, it's clear to me that this is where I needed to be. I've made my decision and I've never looked back, and I've really, really enjoyed my experience at BYU and I plan on it continuing to get better and better."

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