This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In a domed venue in Pocatello, Idaho, where Taysom Hill became a celebrated high school quarterback, Michael and Karen Mangum shared a phone as they watched the telecast of their son launching a legendary pass in his first BYU game as Hill's replacement.
Tanner Mangum's last-second, game-winning pass to Mitch Mathews against Nebraska came about an hour after Idaho State's Madison Mangum made a spectacular, one-handed touchdown catch. That may have stood as the No. 1 play among national highlights, if not for his little brother's delivery in front of 15 times as many fans.
Asked what Saturday's sequence of events was like for his parents, Tanner Mangum smiled and said, "I can't imagine."
At the other emotional extreme of parenting, try being Doug and Natalie Hill. For the third time in 35 months, they watched their son's season end prematurely, this time because of a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. They could only ask why.
"Here is a kid that loves the game of football and God has given him all the talents, abilities and attributes to do so," Doug Hill wrote Monday in a text message to The Tribune, "but yet for some reason, it appears he does not want him to play this game."
Sure makes you wonder, doesn't it? Nobody has ever done more than Hill to come back from major injuries and represent his school well on and off the field, but football keeps letting him down.
Regardless of how this year plays out for Mangum and the Cougars, having another of Hill's seasons end so soon is a stunning hit for him and anyone who has appreciated watching him play. That includes BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, whose tweet Saturday labeled Hill "By far, my favorite player EVER to wear Cougar Blue!"
The news about Hill's injury resonated in Pocatello. "Crushed," said Gino Mariani, Hill's coach at Highland High School. "As a coach, you talk about how football teaches life lessons. Taysom has had his fill, and then some."
And now, who knows where Hill goes from here? Doug Hill spoke this summer of his son's healthy perspective, with marriage and academic pursuits giving him a foundation beyond football that he may have lacked in 2012. Even so, it can't be easy for Taysom Hill to deal with another injury or to try to come back again.
He could consider 2015 a redshirt season and return for a fifth year, as Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton has done but Keeton had suffered only two season-ending injuries, not three.
"I'm sure he needs a little time and space, then will sit down and talk with his family and do what is best for them and his health," said longtime friend Spencer Harding.
BYU's epic locker-room celebration at Nebraska included a "somber" element, by coach Bronco Mendenhall's account. Mathews will remember hugging Hill "both of us crying," he said after learning the severity of his former roommate's injury, as much as his own triumph, moments earlier.
Not surprisingly, Hill was running when he sustained another season-ending injury. The irony is that nobody touched him. And it happened 12 weeks before Hill's next scheduled meeting with Utah State.
Unlike the previous leg injuries that both came when former USU safety Brian Suite tackled him, this was a noncontact injury. The circumstances were similar to when current BYU athletic administrator Chad Lewis sustained a Lisfranc fracture while catching a touchdown pass for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2004 NFC championship game.
The last play of Hill's 2015 season actually ended with a tackle by Nebraska linebacker Josh Banderas, after Hill scrambled for 8 yards early in the fourth quarter. But the play when Hill apparently sustained his Lisfranc sprain was a 21-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and none of the Cornhuskers came close to him as he ran out of the pocket.
For the Cougars, losing Hill in 2015 is different than last year, for multiple reasons. Christian Stewart ended up playing surprisingly well in 2014, but Hill was injured in a loss to Utah State, and there was this sense that the team's season already had crumbled after a 4-0 start. And because Stewart was a senior, his development offered no promise for the future.
Mangum, meanwhile, could play another 50-plus games for the Cougars. Even prior to his last pass, he showed remarkable poise and ability in his first college game. And he pulled off the victory at Nebraska, in the end. So there's far less of a defeatist attitude in Provo this week, compared to last October.
The BYU quarterbacking careers of Hill and Mangum have started somewhat similarly, after their LDS Church missions. On his first play, in a situational package against Washington State in 2012, Hill threw a touchdown pass. On the last play of his first game, Mangum delivered a TD pass. And now Mangum will make his first start Saturday night in Provo against Boise State, whose campus is about 10 miles from his home in Eagle, Idaho.
Mangum understood why his parents drove to Pocatello last weekend instead of traveling to Nebraska. His brother is "a senior, a star player, and they didn't think I was going to get in," he said. "So I totally don't blame them."
Beginning this Saturday, though, the Mangums usually will split up to staff their sons' games. "The plan's changed a little bit now," Tanner Mangum said. "It's a fun time."
And more trying times for Hill's family. Because the latest injury came barely three quarters into the season, Mangum's growth will become the story of BYU's year, as opposed to everyone wondering what this team could have done with a healthy Hill. His absence shouldn't devastate the Cougars. Just the same, everybody should be hurting for him.
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Taysom Hill's BYU career
Year G Starts Injury
2012 6 2-0 Knee
2013 13 8-5 None
2014 5 4-1 Leg
2015 1 1-0 Foot