This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated.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 my world, the 2015 college football schedule would end Saturday with BYU's Taysom Hill and Utah State's Chuckie Keeton meeting at midfield after staging a great quarterbacking duel in Logan, while Travis Wilson was trying to become the first Utah QB to beat Colorado four straight times.
Some elements of that equation remain in play. Keeton may start for USU after replacing an injured Kent Myers this past weekend, and Wilson has kept his job during a up-and-down senior year that should end with a Pac-12 South co-championship assuming the Utes want to claim that distinction. Yet I'll always feel cheated, because of the injuries that have kept Keeton and Hill from fulfilling all of the possibilities for themselves.
That's why I'm exercising one more wish, asking for more college football for Hill, whose 2015 season ended in the opener at Nebraska with a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. Anywhere he plays next year is fine with me, although I will state my birthplace-based, biased preference: the University of Michigan.
I know, here in the media, we love to tell people what to do. Retire, or not. Stay in school, or go to the pros. Fire somebody, hire somebody else. The truth is that at age 25, being married, Hill has options available to him. All would be good choices, and only he can make this decision.
He could give up football and launch a career in the finance industry, try the NFL or play another college season somewhere, including BYU. Personally, I just want him to play. While discussing all of the evaluation that goes into recruiting a high school quarterback, Stanford coach David Shaw (formerly the Cardinal's offensive coordinator) once said, "Watching Taysom was just fun."
And considering Hill will have missed 27 of BYU's last 46 games, as of December, I'm saying we all deserve to see more of him. But in what uniform? That's where it gets interesting, and where my advice comes into play.
BYU? Awkward. When he meets with Hill next month, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall certainly can't ask him to leave, but Mendenhall should stress that he would have to outperform Tanner Mangum in an offensive scheme tailored expressly to Mangum if he expects to play for the Cougars in 2016. Otherwise, Hill could have a limited package of plays designed for him.
Mangum has earned the job with his fill-in work of nearly 3,000 passing yards in 11 games, and this is not like the 1970s, when Jim McMahon could redshirt during Marc Wilson's senior year and then resume his own career. Mangum is 22, and Hill should understand a QB's body clock and consider Mangum's own future. Just in case this was the school's last opportunity, BYU honored Hill with the other seniors last Saturday, when he walked slowly onto the field, wearing a boot on his foot.
Utah? Weird. From a journalistic standpoint, this would be overwhelming. Imagine Hill as Utah's quarterback Sept. 10, when BYU visits Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Or picture Hill and Chase Hansen as the Utes' starting safeties, with junior college transfer Troy Williams as the QB. But that's asking for a lot to write about. I'm not that greedy.
Michigan? Perfect. This choice is viable only if Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is willing to take another one-year quarterback, after using Iowa transfer Jake Rudock this season. But why not? As Stanford's coach, Harbaugh signed Hill, who transferred to BYU after his church mission, with Harbaugh having moved to the San Francisco 49ers.
Hill greatly admires Harbaugh, as he and his parents have made clear before, of course, having any idea that Taysom's BYU career would play out this way, giving him the graduate-transfer option.
Even though he'll turn 26 in August, Hill is too young to enter the real world and not in position to give himself his best NFL shot. And he's too gifted and loves football too much to just quit.
From my perspective, it would have been to cool to chronicle 2015 as the first season in more than 60 years when Utah, BYU and USU all started and finished with senior quarterbacks. That probably will never happen again. The next-best thing for me would be getting to watch Taysom Hill play more college football in 2016, and anywhere but Provo would make it more fun. Michigan, especially.
Senior QB wins
Victories for the state's senior quarterbacks in FBS programs, compared with the school career records:
Player, school Wins Record
Travis Wilson, Utah 22 26 (Brian Johnson)
Chuckie Keeton, USU 20 22 (Tony Adams)
Taysom Hill, BYU 15 32 (Max Hall)