BYU retires jersey for Detmer, Nielsen

BYU retires jersey for Detmer, Nielsen



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By DOUG ALDEN AP Sports Writer

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Brigham Young honored former quarterbacks Ty Detmer and Gifford Nielsen by retiring their jerseys Saturday.

Both Detmer, the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner, and Nielsen wore No. 14 when they helped establish BYU as one of the top quarterback schools in the country.

Detmer and Nielsen, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, stood with their families and former coach LaVell Edwards on the field at halftime of the season opener against Arizona. They were given framed No. 14 jerseys and their names were added to the list of honorees at the stadium where they used to lead the Cougars' storied offense.

Steve Young (No. 8), Eldon Fortie (No. 40) and Marion Probert (No. 81) are the only other BYU players to have their jerseys retired.

"There is no question there is just deep emotion. When you think about the magnitude of this. I go back and I think of everybody who has ever played the game here," said Nielsen, who passed for 7,733 yards and 56 touchdowns during his BYU career from 1975-77.

Eleven years after Nielsen left, Detmer arrived and ended up surpassing all the BYU quarterbacks who preceded him.

Detmer's 15,031 passing yards is still the most in BYU history. Detmer is the only Heisman winner at BYU and his 121 career touchdown passes are still an NCAA record.

The soft-spoken Detmer remembered when his father dropped him off in Provo his freshman year, noting the "Y" on the mountain overlooking the stadium and on the Cougars' helmets.

"'OK, all they've got to do is put a "T" in front of the "Y" and you've done good,"' Detmer said his father told him. "Hopefully all those things mean that you made people proud. You did the right things and went about it the right way and people appreciated what you did."

The No. 14 was not retired. Senior defensive back Corby Hodgkiss still wears it, but coach Bronco Mendenhall said that once Hodgkiss' playing is done, nobody will wear any of the retired jersey numbers as long as Mendenhall is coach.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-09-01-07 1726MDT

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