After nearly 30 years, McMahon returns to BYU gridiron

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PROVO -- Winning your season opener on Saturday feels pretty good if you're the BYU Cougars, but having eight All-American quarterbacks on hand to witness it is certainly icing on the cake.

Among the quarterback greats in town this weekend, to raise money for Cougar football, was the always colorful Jim McMahon.

Former BYU great, San Francisco 49er and NFL Hall-of-Famer Steve Young thought the best part of the whole weekend was seeing "Jimmy Mac" run onto the field, ahead of the team, while carrying the flag. Though, according to former coach LaVell Edwards, "running" may be a bit of an overstatement.

"He didn't move very quickly, but he got it out there," said Edwards, chuckling.

While McMahon thought it was nice to be asked to carry the flag, he said it was a little heavier than he anticipated, particularly with the wind blowing. And there was no way he was running.

"They wanted me to run," McMahon stated, "I said ‘No, I can't run. My knee will bust open.' But it was nice for them to ask me... it's been a great weekend."

Young had high praise for McMahon and thought fans showed a lot of respect for the former star.

"Jim took BYU to places that were stratospheric, offensively, and people want to appreciate him for that." said Young. "When they stood for him when he was introduced, it gave me goose bumps. I think it would give him goose bumps."

"I'm sure he was really moved," Edwards agreed. "I know I was. And I figured that would be the case because we've been working for quite a while to get him to come back."

On a side note, Edwards is excited about the possibility of McMahon being inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame. Although McMahon entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, it is a requirement at BYU to have earned your degree, before you can be inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame.

Nearly 30 years after leaving Brigham Young, McMahon is planning on returning to school to finish his degree.

"I think the timing's right," said Edwards. "I think he's going to get some things done with his academic work to get his degree. Then it will be just a matter of getting him back into the (BYU) Hall of Fame where he belongs."


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