PROVO — Former BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall stunned all of Provo when he took the same position at the University of Virginia. Soon, most of his staff followed to the East Coast.
Now, his former starting quarterback could be on his way, as well.
Senior quarterback Taysom Hill has received an offer to transfer to Virginia, according to a report first issued by Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed the report to KSL.com.
Virginia's new staff have offered Cougar senior @T_Hill4 Taysom Hill and have told BYU walkon LB Scott Huntsman he could start for the Cavs.— Dick Harmon (@Harmonwrites) December 30, 2015
Mendenhall has already brought former BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae with him to Virginia, as well as quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, offensive line coach Garett Tujague, outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Kelly Poppinga, secondary coach Nick Howell and former BYU graduate assistant Shane Hunter as defensive line coach.
Hill, a senior who suffered three season-ending injuries during his time at BYU, could potentially take advantage of an oft-used NCAA rule that allows graduated seniors to transfer to another institution and immediately play for one season. The finance major is currently undecided on what he will do for his future — return to BYU, transfer to another collegiate institution, or enter next April's NFL draft.
But Hill interned with a high-profile venture capital firm in Salt Lake City last summer, and has mentioned his eventual desire to earn an MBA.
Hill was a candidate for the Maxwell, Wuerffel, Davey O'Brien, Walter Camp and Johnny Unitas trophies as a senior before suffering a Lisfranc injury during the Cougars' first game of the season at Nebraska. True freshman Tanner Mangum relieved Hill, beat the Huskers on a final-play Hail Mary pass to Mitch Mathews, and started the rest of the way for BYU.
That left more of a question for Hill's status going forward. With Mangum potentially entrenched as the starter, Hill could receive a medical redshirt season to play one more year at another school after graduating with his degree from BYU's Marriott School of Management. During fall camp, he was on track to finish his finance degree in December.
Prior to this season, Hill also suffered season-ending knee and leg injuries as a junior against Utah State and as a freshman just six games into the year. In his only full season, the then-sophomore started all 13 games and accounted for 2,938 yards passing and 19 touchdowns, as well as 1,344 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. That season finished No. 5 in BYU history for most offensive yards, with only Steve Young, Jim McMahon and Ty Detmer accounting for more as quarterbacks.
The report also maintains that Virginia believes walk-on linebacker Scott Huntsman would be a starter for the Cavaliers. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Huntsman, a true freshman who spurned offers from Purdue, Texas A&M and Houston, among others, broke into the two-deep depth chart early and finished the year with two tackles and several special teams highlights before suffering a torn labrum Oct. 2 against Connecticut.
Mendenhall and his staff recruited Huntsman out of Coppell High School in Texas, the same school as current BYU running back commit Charles West.