Back for an encore: Taysom Hill working to be more of a 'complete quarterback' for BYU
"For me, it gave me an opportunity to tell Coach Anae what I liked and what I don’t like, and add little intricacies to our offense. Because we had that base, we could start to build on top of what we had. That’s what we did this spring. Offensively, we’ve gotten a lot better from when we finished the season to where we are now.”
Offensively, the Cougars have been looking to improve on third-down and red-zone efficiency.
“As I went back and watched our games from last season, the games that we struggled were where they loaded the box and dared us to throw,” Hill said. “They man-pressed us. That’s something we’ve emphasized. Our receivers are lifting, trying to get stronger. It gives us an opportunity to get off of press and get down the field. As we do that, they won’t be able to bring in the safety and load the box the way that they did.”
Another difference with Hill this season? He’s married. He wed Emily Nixon, the sister of former BYU linebacker David Nixon, during the spring.
“He’s still the same Taysom. He works just as hard,” said Mathews. “Being married, as long as you marry the right person, it helps you out. For him, he hasn’t missed one workout. For him, getting married is probably a big help for him.”
During the offseason, Hill has been named to watch lists for the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, College Football Performance Awards Quarterback Trophy, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Walter Camp Football Foundation “players to watch” for its 2014 Player of the Year award.
That means Hill has big expectations on his shoulders, but it's a role he embraces.
“That’s kind of the nature of the quarterback position. I realize last year I was an underclassman, so that aspect has changed,” he said. “There is a pressure you feel to be seen in the community and with the things you do on the field and off the field. But I also knew that before I came to BYU.
"It’s an opportunity that’s been fun for me. I love competing and I love throwing the football. I look forward to this upcoming season and do the best I can. Hopefully, I live up to the expectations and the things others have put upon me. I try not to get caught up too much in that.”
Hill’s teammates are confident about what he can accomplish this year.
“It’s going to be an extremely great season for Taysom,” Williams said.
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