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BYU Football: Building the Ultimate Cougar Quarterback

Nov 9, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Samuel BensonContributor IIIAugust 16, 2014

BYU's home opener against UConn is right around the corner, and led by junior quarterback Taysom Hill, the Cougars could have a stellar season. It's not surprising that a QB is stealing the spotlight in Provo, as BYU has long been known for being a "quarterback factory" of sorts.

If it were possible to build the ultimate Cougar quarterback, using the four main physical groups needed to be a quarterback—eyes and mind, throwing arm, torso and body, legs—how would it turn out?

 

Eyes and Mind: Ty Detmer

Associated Press

There's no doubt that Ty Detmer had the mind of a quarterback. His ability to pick apart defenses and make quick decisions is unparalleled by any other Cougar. As an undersized, six-foot-nothing player, his size was always a disadvantage. He made up for it through his IQ for the game.

“[Detmer] was the smartest player I ever played with and his knowledge was only rivaled by possibly Norm Chow," said former BYU receiver Eric Drage (via the Deseret News). "He was by far the best leader I've ever been around."

 

Arm: Jim McMahon

Jim McMahon has long been known at BYU for his fiery personality and leadership ability, but he should always be remembered for his throwing arm. If you've forgotten how dominant Jim McMahon was during his BYU tenure, take a minute to watch the video above. 

Jimmy Mac had a gun attached to his shoulder, which helped him shatter 38 NCAA passing records. There are more than a few great pocket-passers that have played as a Cougar, but I would choose none before McMahon.

 

Body: John Walsh

15 OCT 1994:  BYU QUARTERBACK JOHN WALSH DROPS BACK TO PASS DURING THE COUGERS 21-14 VICTORY OVER THE NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH AT THE NOTRE DAME STADIUM IN SOUTH BEND, INDIANA. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/ALLSPORT
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After having a brief, mediocre NFL career instead of staying at BYU for his senior season, many Cougar fans aren't fond of John Walsh. He was a basic pocket-passer, similar to many others that played under LaVell Edwards.

But he had the frame of a quarterback, which separates him from the others. At 6'4" and 215 pounds, he had the size to break tackles, but the strength to make good—and accurate—throws.

 

Legs: Steve Young

As an NFL legend and Hall of Famer, Steve Young is one popular guy in the football world. But, despite being a quarterback, his arm isn't what people remember him for.

Young had the mobility of a tailback during his career. He had the agility and speed of a young rookie, but a veteran's knowledge of when or when not to run. There's no doubt that Young is BYU's top mobile quarterback of all time, and if Taysom Hill can get close, it will be quite the achievement.

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