Provo • Taysom Hill has all the tools he needs to become not just the best running quarterback BYU has ever had, but one of the best passing QBs in school history, too.
That's the opinion of former BYU quarterback John Beck, who told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday that he worked out with Hill this past summer in Provo and liked what he saw.
"I watched Taysom throw this summer, and I threw with him, and I have watched all the games [this season]," said Beck. "He has a very good arm. He will continue to get better."
Beck said he doesn't think BYU's move to the zone-read option offense this season under new offensive coordinator Robert Anae will keep the school from attracting top-flight passing quarterbacks in the future. He thinks Hill, who has completed just 43.3 percent of his passes, is tailor-made for the zone-read offense but could also thrive as a pocket passer if BYU ever gets back to its offensive roots.
"Recruits nowadays, if they are watching BYU football and they are seeing Taysom, they are saying, 'Hey, I am a great runner, too, and I can also throw the ball well.' I see that type of recruit now saying, 'Wow, BYU is a great place to go,' " Beck said.
Georgia Tech coach remembers
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson's memories of playing BYU aren't all bad, even though the Cougars walloped the Yellow Jackets 41-17 last year in Atlanta. Georgia Tech didn't score an offensive touchdown and went 0 for 10 on third down.
The coach was a member of Hawaii's staff when the Warriors blasted BYU 56-14 in 1990 just hours after Cougar quarterback Ty Detmer won the Heisman Trophy.
"They were ranked third or fourth in the country. That one stands out," Johnson said in his press conference Monday. "I remember we sacked [Detmer] nine times in the game."
Saturday's game against the 3-2 Yellow Jackets is BYU's homecoming game, which means the Cougars will wear the program's core values Spirit, Tradition and Honor on the backs of their jerseys, rather than their surnames. Of course, Mendenhall's original plan was to have the buzzwords on the jerseys every game, but was talked out of it by his team in August.
"I hadn't really thought about it much until you just reminded me [that they will wear them Saturday]," Mendenhall said with a laugh on Monday. "So I don't know how, basically, to answer it. I think it has been documented enough, so I think we will all just smile."
After the team voted down the proposal, linebacker Kyle Van Noy suggested they wear them for just one home game, and the homecoming game was chosen at that time.
Georgia Tech is trying to win its second straight game west of the Mississippi River after downing USC 21-7 in last year's Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. … The Jackets are seventh in the country in rushing yards, averaging 300 per game. BYU is 13th with a 277.8 average. … Former BYU linebacker Kurt Gouveia was selected on Wednesday a member of the inaugural class for enshrinement into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.