Dick Harmon: Never underestimate value of BYU, Utah, USU backup QBs

Return To Article
Add a comment
    Aug. 30, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    I have no idea what he was like as a back up QB, but he is horrible annoucing the games. glad he is off the mtn. he talks over the plays with non-sense stats and name dropping. too bad he wasn't a back-up annoucer as well...

  • MurrayMike Murray, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    Well I was there in the stands in 84 (lived in cali at the time) and I DID notice the change in the Y's QB position, not to say that Fowler did bad. Remember that a QB that has led you to 12 previous wins, getting hurt then limping back in, I'm sure inspired his teamates to play that much better.

    Oh, to all those SMU players throwing ice and water on each other when they were ahead by 20 in 1980 I'm still laughing at how fast those smiles turned to frowns by the end of the game.....man I loved living in cali in the 80's

    Go Cougs

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Aug. 25, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    I'm really hoping we'll see Lark in the game in the fourth quarter when we're up by 30+ points.

    I'm also hoping we'll see Nelson come in for a few plays each game in a wildcat formation. I also like the idea of using him as the holder for punts and PATs, opening up the option for an occasional fake.

  • Escondido Kid Escondido, CA
    Aug. 17, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    Dick...as always, a great article of backup QB's. I would be curious to know what Sean Salisbury is doing now that he isn't working for ESPN. I am told that BYU's football team this year is "stupid good". Is that your appraisal overall as well?

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 11:26 p.m.

    I saw Lark on Tuesday and he looks sharp. The passes he threw were similar to Jake, Just really accurate, dart-like throws. Incompletions were because of WRs dropping the balls.

  • Outsideview Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    Great article and topic. I have appreciated Fowlers example every time we see hot shot recruits at BYU (specifically quarterbacks)complain about their role on the team. I have always heard that there wasnt much difference between Fowler and Bosco. I expect his family was disappointed that he wasnt the main guy on the team but look how his response to this situation has blessed his life.

    My congratulations to him and my appreciation for his example.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    I felt Fowler should have played instead of Bosco once Bosco was injured...I agree the backup must be good and ready to play, and disagree that the starter should play even if injured as Bosco did, as I feel it hurts the team, becomes a case of the starter putting himself ahead of the team...and wasn't Bosco injured more permanantly because he ruined his arm, probably playing hurt, throwing with all arm because the leg was hurt?

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    @ duckhunter

    So true. So true.

    After the Utes go 1-3 I might start rooting for the underdog. Too bad they don't have the QB draw as BYU does.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Aug. 16, 2011 5:38 p.m.

    James Lark needs more reps.

  • Two Cents Springville, Utah
    Aug. 16, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    So did you throw out the envelope? I bet you have a treasure trove of interviews and notes from the many years of sports writing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    Back-up qb's need to be good? This is something BYU has known for a very long time, and they recruit accordingly. utah is learning this right now and it is going to become glaringly apparent to them this season. I don't know how anyone didn't know this.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    Great article, Dick. BYU has a long history of back-up QBs who could have started at many other schools, but who put their team and school first. Just another one of the thousand things I love about BYU football.

  • 1984 for life Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    @ TJ | 9:13 a.m. Aug. 16, 2011
    Eagle Mountain, UT

    Brian Johnson was/is a coach who played for the Utes through the 2008 season. I believe you are referring to Terrence Cain.

  • RepresentBlue West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    Every college football team has scores of players like Blaine Fowler - great athletes who excelled in high school but for whatever reason were not good enough to be a starter in college. It is simply part of the game, and its especially hard for QB's because you can't rotate them like other positions, but at the same time you don't want a huge dropoff in talent from your 1st to your 2nd string because injuries are also a part of the game. This means you are going to have one or more talented QB's sitting on the sidelines for most of their college career. Right now BYU has three. Munns, in my opinion, would be wise to transfer or change positions. Lark and Nelson are still battling it out to be Heaps' backup, but I think Nelson will see plenty of action as a wildcat option, or some kind of fake punt, trick play specialist. Doman has stated publicly that he wants to mix things up in order to throw off opposing defenses and capture the momentum in close games. And both Lark and Nelson will also probably see plenty of action in games that are not close.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Excellent Article Dick. I think the backup QB has the most emotionally draining position on the team. One second your an afterthought and the next, your front and center with the weight of the team on your shoulders. These guys have to be emotional rocks.
    Brian Johnson was a good example of being prepared last year although he did have some starting experience prior.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 16, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Insightful article Harmon. It let's us know there is a lot more to sports than sports and that maybe as fans we are too judgemental. I'm glad that Fowler has stuck around BYU. He is a classy guy.

  • Officer Coolguy Highland, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:58 a.m.


    Harmon didn't specify, but i believe that those two shared the backfield in the NFL...

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Aug. 16, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    Backups pressed into action such as Alex Smith [Brett Eliot] and Brett Ratliff [Brian Johnson], went on to play in the NFL.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Aug. 16, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    Sean Salisbury was let go by espn unless something new changed this year.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Aug. 16, 2011 6:35 a.m.

    Fowler was so good and efficient that when he did go in for the injured Bosco in BYU's NC title game, the TV announcers didn't even notice it at first. It took a a play or two for them to recognize the change.

    I noticed it right away when the number didn't match Bosco's. I thought at that time Bosco was done for the night. But, an amazing performance by a limping Bosco ensued.

    I always felt for Fowler. He could have been another notable QB for BYU.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    Ernie Davis was never in the same backfield with Jim Brown. Although both played at Syracuse, they were not there at the same time. Brown preceded Davis and was already playing for Cleveland when Davis arrived.

  • BYU DUDE Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2011 12:14 a.m.

    Harmon ,

    Great article a trip down memory lane. Blaine Fowlers parents volunteer there time at BYUs Football practices they are the most friendly couple I have ever met.

    Blaine is first class I know he is going to do BYU Football Games.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 15, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    College and life is all about achieving your potential. It is a crying shame that the only way one can reach their potential as a QB is to start and play against top defenses. This leaves out many good players.

    There is just no substitute for experience.

    In the final analysis it is far more important to achieve one's potential as a husband, father and before his Maker than on the grid iron. Those people who keep that in focus will always have a happy life.

  • tom2 Jerome, ID
    Aug. 15, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    Blaine (and Ken) Fowler coached with my Dad when his son Jeff and my brothers played little league football. I was a bit older and helped out with filming games. Years later I ran into him at Lagoon and he seemed genuinely happy to see me and remembered my name. Very class guy and someone I definitely look up to.

  • Shenandoah Linville, VA
    Aug. 15, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    Whoops! I think in your last line you meant to say that no one should say a backup QB isn't valuable. "Invaluable" of course means 'indispensable' or 'very useful'. A common error. Nice article otherwise.