Hill with the Saints in 2017
|No. 7 - New Orleans Saints|
|Position:||Quarterback, Utility player|
|Born:||August 23, 1990|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||221 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Highland (Pocatello, Idaho)|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2020|
|Player stats at PFR|
Taysom Shawn Hill (born August 23, 1990) is an American football quarterback and utility player for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the BYU Cougars.
Although listed as a backup quarterback on the official Saints depth chart, Hill has played in four offensive skill positions and on both sides of the ball on special teams, including as the team's primary gunner on punt return, and has blocked multiple punts in his career. Such atypical utilization of a quarterback has earned him a reputation as one of the NFL's most versatile players and the nickname "The Human Swiss Army knife" by Saints' media.
Hill was born and raised in Pocatello, Idaho, where he lettered in football, basketball, and track at Highland High School and graduated in 2009. As a senior, he threw for 2,269 yards and 18 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,491 yards and 24 touchdowns, earning the All-Idaho Player of the Year, Gatorade High School Player of the Year, First Team All-State selection, and All-Region and All-Conference Player of the Year accolades. He holds the school single-season and career records for total offense.
In track, Hill competed in the 200 meters and long jump. As a sophomore at the 2007 5A District IV/V/VI Regional Meet, he recorded a personal-best time of 22.5 seconds in the 200 m, placing third, and ran the fourth leg on the squad, helping the Rams to 1:31.41 and a first-place finish. As a senior, he won the long jump event at the 2009 5A Regional Meet, with a mark of 6.85 m (22 ft in).
Coming out of high school in 2009, Hill had multiple offers from programs in the West, including University of Arizona, Boise State University, Oregon State University, Washington State University, University of Utah, Stanford University, and Brigham Young University.
Heavily recruited by head coach Jim Harbaugh, Hill had originally committed to Stanford out of high school, but after returning from his LDS church mission, he enrolled in January at BYU after learning Stanford did not allow incoming freshmen to join the team until June. As a result, he decided to go to Brigham Young instead.
In his freshman season of 2012, Hill was number two on the quarterback depth chart. He was initially brought in for special packages to utilize his athleticism in short-yardage situations. In his very first play from scrimmage in college, he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass against Washington State in the home opener. Hill wound up playing in 6 games in 2012, starting and winning two starts midseason before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the closing seconds of a victory over Utah State.
Hill resumed starting in the 2013 season. After a tough 19-16 loss in the season opener at Virginia, he bounced back the following week against Texas, with 259 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 40-21 win. In 2014, Hill sustained a fractured leg against Utah State on October 3, ending his season. BYU lost their first game of the season that night.
Injury again struck Hill at the start of the 2015 season, when he suffered a lisfranc fracture during the opener against Nebraska on September 5. After the game, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that the injury would cost Hill the rest of the season.
As a result, Hill was granted a medical redshirt for 2015, making him eligible to return for one final season in 2016. On February 16, he announced that he would be returning to BYU in 2016 rather than pursuing options to play at another school as a graduate transfer. On August 23, Hill was named the starting quarterback over sophomore Tanner Mangum, who had started after Hill's injury in 2015. Hill changed his jersey number from 4 to the number 7 that his late older brother Dexter had worn.
Late in 2016, Hill suffered a fourth season-ending injury. Against in-state rival Utah State on November 26, he went down with a hyper-extended elbow injury in the fourth quarter and was unable to finish the season.
Hill showed impressive athletic ability at BYU's pro day. His 40-yard dash of 4.44 seconds and 38.5-inch (0.98m) vertical jump would have finished first among all participating quarterbacks at the 2017 NFL Combine, beating Texas A&M's Trevor Knight's 4.54-second 40-yard dash and 35.5 inches (0.90 m) vertical.
|Height||Weight||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|6 ft in
|10 ft 2 in|
|All values from Pro Day|
Hill went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, but signed with the Green Bay Packers as a free agent on May 5. He appeared in three preseason games with them, completing 14 of 20 passes, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another, before being waived on September 2, 2017.
The following day, Hill was claimed off waivers by the New Orleans Saints. He was promoted to the active roster on December 3 and appeared in a total of twelve special teams plays against the Carolina Panthers. In his NFL debut, Hill recorded two special teams tackles on the Panthers' kick returner Fozzy Whittaker.
Hill was listed as the third-string quarterback to start 2018 season, but was used in a variety of positions throughout the Saints' season, including as their primary kick returner.
During Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns on September 16, he returned his first kick 47 yards as the Saints won 21-18. The next week against the Atlanta Falcons, he had his most versatile performance in his NFL career. On special teams, Hill returned three kicks for 64 yards and made a tackle on a punt while on offense, he rushed the ball three times for 39 yards and was often used as a tight end to block defenders. In the next game against the New York Giants, Hill completed his first NFL pass on a fake punt for 10 yards. He also rushed four times for 28 yards, continuing to line up at receiver on offense and still being the primary kick returner. Against the Washington Redskins, Hill rushed five times for 24 yards, including his first NFL touchdown run in a 43-19 victory. In a 30-20 Sunday Night Football road victory against the Minnesota Vikings on October 28, Hill set up the Saints' first touchdown of the game by completing a 44-yard pass to Michael Thomas, for his second pass completion of the year. During Week 14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he blocked a punt from Bryan Anger, which led to a touchdown that propelled the Saints to a come from behind 28-14 road victory, enabling them to clinch the division title. He was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Hill finished the season with 37 carries for 196 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns, three receptions for four yards, and passed for 64 yards and an interception. In addition, he had 14 kickoff returns for 348 net yards for a 24.86 average.
In the Divisional Round against the Philadelphia Eagles, Hill made a key play as a utility player, running for a first down on a fake punt to begin the Saints' comeback victory. In the NFC Championship, against the Los Angeles Rams, Hill recorded a touchdown reception in the 26-23 overtime loss.
In the season-opener against the Houston Texans, Hill rushed twice for eight yards and caught a nine-yard touchdown in the narrow 30-28 victory. In Week 7 against the Chicago Bears, Hill rushed twice for 21 yards and caught a screen pass for a four-yard touchdown in the 36-25 road victory. The next week, Hill saw his playing time increase as Drew Brees returned from injury and caught a career high three passes for 63 yards and a touchdown in the 31-9 win against the Arizona Cardinals. In Week 13 against the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving, Hill blocked a punt, rushed for a 30-yard touchdown, and caught a three-yard touchdown pass in the 26-18 road victory. With his fourth touchdown reception of the year, Hill broke the record for most touchdown receptions by a quarterback in a single season. In Week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football, Hill caught two passes for 42 yards, including the 541st career touchdown pass thrown by Drew Brees, during the 34-7 win. In the Wild Card Round against the Minnesota Vikings, Hill had consecutive plays of 11-yard rushing for first down, 50-yard passing followed by a block that enabled a four-yard rushing touchdown by Alvin Kamara in a drive. Hill accumulated 50 yards rushing, 50 yards passing, and 25 yards receiving, including a touchdown late in the game. They ultimately fell to the Vikings 26-20 in overtime.
In March 2020, the Saints placed a first-round restricted free agent tender on Hill worth $4.641 million. On April 26, Hill re-signed with the Saints to a two-year deal worth $16.3 million, an extension to the first-round restricted free agent tender placed on Hill, to bring the total deal up to around $21 million.
On November 20, 2020 it was announced that Hill would make his first career start at quarterback for the Saints Week 11 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons due to Drew Brees' injury. Hill threw 23 passes, completing 18 for 233 yards. He also ran for 51 yards and 2 touchdowns, helping the Saints beat the Falcons 24-9.
Hill is the youngest of four children of Doug and Natalie Hill. He was named after Taysom Rotary Park located in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho.
He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a missionary for the church in Sydney, Australia, from 2009 to 2011. He married Emily Nixon in 2014 in the Salt Lake Temple, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hill's brother-in-law is former BYU and NFL linebacker David Nixon.