It was right after his junior year at Southwest High in San Antonio, Texas, that Ty Detmer, after making a trip to Provo, committed to LaVell Edwards to play for the then record-busting passing school.
Detmer was making several trips during that summer, including a stop through the Rockies to Provo on the insistence of assistant coach Claude Bassett, who recruited Texas for the Cougars. Another scheduled stop would be in Pac-10 territory. That never happened; he never got that far.
In a story I wrote this week, however, a quote by Deter caught the eye of some who have followed his storied career.
"If I was coming out now, I probably wouldn’t have gone to BYU because there are a lot of schools that throw the ball. But back then, it was the place to go to pass.”
He also said QBs at BYU can make all the difference in the offense.
I don't think Detmer's quote should be taken as a slight on BYU. He was a native Texan. He was a Methodist back then and his family was firmly rooted in Lonestar State. If there had been a Texas Tech doing Texas Tech Red Raider things back then, he likely would have looked harder at staying close to home.
Even Houston was just hatching a passing game and it coincided with the time Detmer left high school when David Klingler started things in 1989 through 1991. Thing is, Texas schools were not passing the football. He had to look elsewhere. He had just been named the Texas High School Player of the Year and BYU had just set numerous records with Jim McMahon, Marc Wilson, Steve Young and Robbie Bosco.25 comments on this story
While Klingler passed for a career 9,430 yards at Houston, BYU gave Detmer the chance to become the first to pass for more than 15,000 yards and 121 touchdowns in college. He set 59 NCAA records.
It was that tradition that appealed to him as a player and as BYU's offensive coordinator for a few seasons as he sold it to recruits like Arizona's Jacob Conover, who committed to the Cougars, Stanford-bound Tanner McKee, and his nephews Koy Detmer Jr. and Zadock Dinkelmann.
Detmer said he sat in a film room with recruits like McKee and Conover and showed them plays that BYU was running. "See, we have the system that can work. The plays are there to be made."