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BYU quarterback Taysom Hill named 2014 Heisman candidate by NFL.com

Published: Monday, June 16 2014 7:15 p.m. MDT

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill during the Fight Hunger Bowl NCAA college football game on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in San Francisco. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP) BYU quarterback Taysom Hill during the Fight Hunger Bowl NCAA college football game on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in San Francisco. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)

Even if it's as the 'are you serious?' candidate, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill has another proponent saying he could be a darkhorse for college football's top individual honor this season.

Mike Huguenin of NFL.com included the BYU signal caller among 14 top candidates for this year's Heisman Trophy in an article published Monday.

In May, Hill, along with Utah State's Chuckie Keeton, was named to the 25-man Heisman Pundit's post-spring Heisman Trophy watch list.

"Every Heisman list needs a 'What? Are you serious?' candidate — a player from outside the 'Power Five' conferences, preferably a QB (think Derek Carr and Jordan Lynch from last season) — and Hill is that guy," Huguenin wrote.

"You may not know all that much about him, but the guy can play."

Northern Illinois' Lynch finished third in last year's Heisman voting, while Fresno State's Carr was eighth.

Others on Huguenin's list include defending Heisman winner Jameis Winston of Florida State, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Georgia running back Todd Gurley and Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty. There are eight quarterbacks and six running backs on the list, including three from Pac-12 teams.

Hill's dual-threat abilities are garnering the junior attention during the offseason. He threw for 2,938 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last year, and showed his speed by rushing for a team-best 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Huguenin cited Hill's 2013 national ranking in total offense (329.4 yards per game, 10th overall) as a reason for optimism this season, though he also wrote that Hill must be more consistent as a passer to be considered for national awards. Hill finished the year with a 53.9 percent pass completion percentage.

"This season's schedule is easier than last season's, which should help his numbers," Huguenin wrote.

Hill and the Cougars will open the 2014 season at Connecticut on Aug. 29.

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd

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