Hill Excited About BYU Offer

Due to attrition in the next couple of years, the Cougar coaching staff is in the market for a quarterback to add to the upcoming recruiting class of 2009. Recently, the coaches extended a scholarship offer to Idaho quarterback Taysom Hill.

Highland High School's Taysom Hill has rediscovered his interest in BYU. The 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound pigskin-slinger from Pocatello is excited about his recent offer from the BYU Cougar coaching staff.

"Yeah, I am excited about BYU," said Hill. "In fact, I'm going up there June 13 to kind of get a feel for the coaching staff and also tour the facilities."

Though Hill favored the Cougars a year ago, his enthusiasm for BYU tapered after he felt passed over and ignored. In a Total Blue Sports interview a month ago, Hill expressed his frustration at the lack of recruiting from the Cougar coaching staff. Since then, an amends of sorts has been made, and to top it off, Hill has a scholarship offer in hand.

"Yeah, my feelings have changed and they apologized for what had happened," said Hill. "It's okay though because I understand the recruiting thing. I don't have any bitter feelings towards BYU and I feel good about BYU, and that's why I'm [going] out to their Junior Day. If I didn't feel good about BYU I wouldn't be doing that. I'm really excited about it and it's definitely opened up a whole new picture for me in trying to figure out what I'm going to do for college. The offer from BYU has definitely thrown a twist in that in a good way. This is definitely a good thing and these are good decisions that I have to make."

Coach Doman and Coach Weber recently made their way out to Pocatello during the recruiting period to smooth things over with Hill.

"There was just a lot of talk and Coach Doman said he didn't get the chance to watch my film," Hill said. "Once he got the chance to watch my film, then things were different. Coach Doman came up along with the offensive line coach, Coach Weber. They both came up and told me about their college. I went out and threw for them and did a little workout for them. I talked to Coach Mendenhall and he said they were going to offer me. Coach Doman actually came down again to see me and talked to me and stuff during the recruiting period.

"He talked to me about BYU and what they stand for. He let me get a feel for him as a coach and who I'll be playing for, and just have the opportunity to shake his hand and say ‘hi.' It was that sort of thing."

And what are the feelings of his parents now that Taysom Hill has a scholarship offer from BYU?

"They are excited for me," said Hill. "It's kind of hard for me right now because all of these colleges look good on paper. You can talk about all these different coaches and all these different universities and they all sound good, but until I can get out and see the different campuses, meet the coaches and see the environment that I would be in for the next four-to-five years of my life, it's kind of hard to really know."

As previously mentioned, Hill has already met a few of the coaches, including Coach Doman, whom he has a very favorable opinion of.

"Well, I went down to the camp last year and got a feel for how Coach Doman coached," said Hill. "I got a chance to see how he handles himself, and that was one reason why I liked BYU in the first place, because I knew it would be him that I would be playing under. I liked how he did things and I have a lot of respect for Coach Doman. He's an honorable man and I like how he coaches."

Hill also had some praise to bestow on Coach Mendenhall.

"Coach Mendenhall is a good guy," said Hill. "He's one of the more powerful guys I've ever been around. I mean, I went to the camp last year and he gave a presentation that he gave us that I still think of today and get the chills. He's also one of the most down-to-earth guys. He goes out and does firesides all the time, and that just shows you what kind of guy he really is and what he has incorporated into BYU's football program. I have nothing but praise for Coach Mendenhall. What he's done with that football program is phenomenal."

With a scholarship offer from his church's college, the college panoramic view for Hill just got a lot bigger and a little more familiar in terms of interests.

"It's nice to know that you have options where I can sit down and be picky," said Hill. "You know, where I can say I like this and I like that, but I don't like this and I don't like that when it comes to these other schools to chose from. One of the big differences about BYU is that it's nice to be close to home, and my parents could come down and see the games and it's not a big deal.

"Also [I like] what BYU stands for because that's what I'm all about. I don't have any questions about the environment and what's going to be going on off and on the campus while there. That's just not a question for me because I know what they stand for, and so that's definitely a big plus for me."

Although Hill has many offers, he provided a list of things that make BYU different and unique from the rest of the schools that have offered.

"Definitely the LDS aspect of BYU is unique," said Hill. "Going up there to play football is something that definitely represents the Church. The non-members that are out there are hearing things about the Church by watching BYU football, because that's what they stand for. When people hear about the LDS Church they immediately associate BYU with them, and to be able to represent that is a really neat thing, you know."

Hill has plans to serve a mission. Knowing that BYU deals with players coming and going due to missionary service is an aspect of the program that comforts Hill.

"That's one reason why I feel good about BYU: because the program is built around [missions] and they deal with missions all the time," said Hill. "At the same time, I have other schools that have told me to go ahead and serve a mission, and when you come back you can play for us for the next four to five years. I feel good about BYU in the fact that they deal with missionaries a lot. I wouldn't have to worry about whether or not if they would have a scholarship for me when I came home. The type of people that I would be around at BYU would be mostly return missionaries, and I feel good about that."

Other schools' lack of familiarity with juggling scholarships and planning two years ahead may cause Hill to be a bit weary, but many have told him to put his trust in them and leave first prior to enrolling.

"Washington State has told me that if I wanted to go on a mission to go ahead and do that," said Hill. "Stanford has also told me to do that. The University of Utah has also told me to do that. Boise State hasn't talked about it but I think they would be good with it too."

Currently, Hill has seven scholarship offers on the table.

"I have offers from Arizona, Stanford, Washington State, Utah, BYU and [Idaho State]," Hill said. "The Vandals just offered me last night, and Boise State [did as well]. I know that I'm at the top of the recruiting board for Stanford, and for the class of 2009, BYU, Utah and Washington State. I haven't been told that from any other schools, so those are schools that I think are definitely interested in me and have shown the most interest."

Most coaches give recruits reasons why their university would be the right place for them. The BYU coaching staff, however, asks recruits to recruit themselves, in that the recruits must share why they feel BYU is the place for them. Hill talked about what he would say should the Cougar coaches ask him why he feels BYU is the place for him.

"You have to realize there's more to life than just football," said Hill. "BYU is a program that is setting you up for that. What BYU stands for is incredible, and to be a part of that - being LDS myself - is something that appeals to me. I've been told by the BYU coaches that I belong there, and with the LDS influence, everything I stand for as a person can be found in that program and in that university. The way that Coach Mendenhall has incorporated the Church into his program is something that I would definitely like to be a part of."

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