Taysom Hill
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Taysom Hill

Taysom Hill
refer to caption
Hill with the Saints in 2017
No. 7 - New Orleans Saints
Position:Quarterback, Utility player
Personal information
Born: (1990-08-23) August 23, 1990 (age 30)
Pocatello, Idaho
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Highland (Pocatello, Idaho)
College:BYU
Undrafted:2017
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Player stats at PFR

Taysom Shawn Hill (born August 23, 1990)[1] 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,[2] 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.[3] 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.[4][5][6]

Early years

Hill was born and raised in Pocatello, Idaho, where he lettered in football, basketball, and track at Highland High School and graduated in 2009.[7][8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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).[11]

College career

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.[12][13]

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.[14] 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.[15][16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] After the game, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that the injury would cost Hill the rest of the season.[19]

As a result, Hill was granted a medical redshirt for 2015, making him eligible to return for one final season in 2016.[20] 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.[21] On August 23, Hill was named the starting quarterback over sophomore Tanner Mangum, who had started after Hill's injury in 2015.[22] Hill changed his jersey number from 4 to the number 7 that his late older brother Dexter had worn.[20][23]

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.[24]

Collegiate statistics

Season Team GP Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2012 BYU 6 42 71 59.2 425 6.0 4 2 122.4 55 336 6.1 4
2013 BYU 13 236 438 53.9 2,938 6.7 19 14 118.1 246 1344 5.5 10
2014 BYU 5 88 132 66.7 975 7.4 7 3 141.7 87 460 5.3 8
2015 BYU 1 21 34 61.8 268 7.9 1 1 131.8 9 72 8.0 2
2016 BYU 12 222 372 59.7 2323 6.2 12 11 116.9 137 603 4.4 8
Career 37 609 1047 58.2 6,929 6.6 43 31 121.4 534 2,815 5.3 32

Professional career

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.[25]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft  in
(1.89 m)
230 lb
(104 kg)
38.5 in
(0.98 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
All values from Pro Day[26]

Green Bay Packers

Hill in 2017

Hill went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, but signed with the Green Bay Packers as a free agent on May 5.[27] He appeared in three preseason games with them, completing 14 of 20 passes, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another,[28] before being waived on September 2, 2017.[29]

New Orleans Saints

The following day, Hill was claimed off waivers by the New Orleans Saints.[30] 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.[31]

2018 season

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.[32] 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.[33][34] 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.[35] Against the Washington Redskins, Hill rushed five times for 24 yards, including his first NFL touchdown run in a 43-19 victory.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38][39]

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.[40]

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.[41] In the NFC Championship, against the Los Angeles Rams, Hill recorded a touchdown reception in the 26-23 overtime loss.[42]

2019 season

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.[43] 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.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46][47] 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.[48] 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.[49] 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.[50]

2020 season

In March 2020, the Saints placed a first-round restricted free agent tender on Hill worth $4.641 million.[51] 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.[52][53]

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.[54] 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.[55]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2017 NO 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018 NO 16 4 3 7 42.9 64 9.1 0 1 36.3 37 196 5.3 35 2 3 4 1.3 5 0 1 1
2019 NO 16 5 3 6 50.0 55 9.2 0 0 81.9 27 156 5.8 30 1 19 234 12.3 45 6 0 0
2020 NO 10 5 22 28 78.6 319 11.4 0 0 114.1 44 237 5.4 23 3 6 74 12.3 21 1 5 3
Career 47 14 28 41 68.3 438 9.9 0 1 77.4 108 589 5.5 35 6 30 312 11.1 45 7 6 4

Postseason

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2017 NO 2 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018 NO 2 0 0 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 39.6 3 8 2.7 4 0 1 2 2.0 2 1 1 0
2019 NO 1 0 1 1 100.0 50 50.0 0 0 118.8 4 50 12.5 28 0 2 25 12.5 20T 1 0 0
Career 5 0 1 2 50.0 50 25.0 0 0 95.8 7 58 8.3 28 0 3 27 9.0 20 2 1 0

Personal life

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.[56]

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.[57][56] Hill's brother-in-law is former BYU and NFL linebacker David Nixon.[58]

References

  1. ^ https://www.neworleanssaints.com/team/players-roster/taysom-hill/
  2. ^ Florio, Mike (September 7, 2020). "Taysom Hill lands at No. 2 on Saints' quarterback depth chart". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ Greene, Dana (July 30, 2019). "Taysom Hill's versatility making an impact with the Saints". ABC 4. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Kilgore, Adam (December 18, 2018). "Taysom Hill is NFL's most valuable Swiss Army knife, and a sign of the league's creativity boom". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Dunnells, Chris (February 11, 2019). "Taysom Hill is one of the most versatile players in the history of the NFL". Canal Street Chronicles. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Williams, Eric D. (June 2, 2019). "Re-birth of Slash: NFL teams looking for the next Taysom Hill". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Highland's Tayson Hill named Gatorade Idaho Football Player of the Year". Voices.IdahoStatesman.com. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "Blog - BYU's New Generation of Quarterbacks: Taysom Hill". Truebluecougars.com. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ "Taysom Hill Athlete Profile". BYU Cougars Athletics. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "5A District IV/V/VI Regional Meet - Track & Field Meet". Athletic.net.
  11. ^ "5A Regional Meet (Dist IV, V, VI) - Track & Field Meet". Athletic.net.
  12. ^ Drew, Jay (September 7, 2012). "BYU football: Taysom Hill talks, tells real reason why he left Stanford". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Stanford-bound QB changes mind on mission, signs with Cougars". The Salt Lake Tribune. April 11, 2011. Archived from the original on April 9, 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "BYU hands Mike Leach loss in his Washington State debut". ESPN.com. August 30, 2012. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "Knee injury shelves BYU quarterback Taysom Hill for year". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ Gurney, Brandon (October 8, 2012). "BYU football: Taysom Hill out 4-6 months with LCL injury (+ video)". Deseret News. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "BYU clobbers No. 16 Texas". USA Today. Associated Press. September 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  18. ^ "Taysom Hill suffers left leg fracture". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ a b Drew, Jay (September 5, 2015). "BYU football: Another season lost for star Taysom Hill". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ a b Durkee, Travis (May 13, 2016). "BYU's Taysom Hill changing number to honor late brother". Sporting News. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ Drew, Jay (February 16, 2016). "BYU football: Taysom Hill returning to Cougars for 2016 season". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ Gemmell, Kevin (August 23, 2016). "Fifth-year senior Taysom Hill named BYU starting quarterback". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ Walker, Sean (March 26, 2016). "Taysom Hill excused from BYU spring game after brother's sudden death". KSL.com. Retrieved 2016.
  24. ^ Drew, Jay. "Taysom Hill excused from BYU's spring game after brother's sudden death". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ Walker, Sean. "Examining former BYU quarterback Taysom Hill in the NFL draft". KSL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "Taysom Hill, Brigham Young, QB, 2017 Draft Scout, DraftScout.com/NFL Draft Scout". www.draftscout.com. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ "Packers sign five draft picks, 15 rookie free agents". Packers.com. May 5, 2017. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018.
  28. ^ "Taysom Hill NFL Stats - Season & Career Preseason Statistics". www.foxsports.com. Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^ "Packers announce roster moves to reduce roster to 53". Packers.com. September 2, 2017.
  30. ^ "New Orleans Saints announce roster moves". NewOrleansSaints.com. September 5, 2017.
  31. ^ Redford, Patrick (December 4, 2017). "Saints Get Special Teams Excellence From A QB Named Taysom". Deadspin. Retrieved 2017.
  32. ^ Roberts, Rachel (September 18, 2018). "Idaho native's first kick return for the New Orleans Saints nearly turns into a TD". Idaho Statesmen. Retrieved 2018.
  33. ^ Katzenstein, Josh (September 24, 2018). "Dynamic Taysom Hill giving Saints offense a big spark". NOLA.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ Gillen, Garland (September 23, 2018). "Taysom Hill excels against the Falcons on special teams and at quarterback". Fox 8 Live. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ Roberts, Rachel (October 2, 2018). "SIdaho native still Saints' tricky weapon: His pass on fake punt 'stole a possession'". The Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ Dabe, Christopher (October 9, 2018). "Taysom Hill's first NFL touchdown comes with Drew Brees also on the field". The Times-Picayune. NOLA.com. Retrieved 2018.
  37. ^ Sigler, John (October 29, 2018). "Sure, why not? Taysom Hill sets up TD with 44-yard pass". USA Today. Retrieved 2018.
  38. ^ Katzenstein, Josh (December 12, 2018). "Saints' Taysom Hill named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after blocked punt vs. Buccaneers". The Times-Picayune. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018.
  39. ^ "Taysom Hill named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week". New Orleans Saints. December 12, 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  40. ^ "Taysom Hill 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2019.
  41. ^ McDonald, Charles R. (January 13, 2019). "The Saints move on, thanks to Taysom Hill's fake punt". SBNation.com. Retrieved 2019.
  42. ^ Judd, Brandon (January 13, 2019). "Utahns in the NFL: Taysom Hill executes fake punt, play sparks Saints' rally past Eagles". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2019.
  43. ^ "Lutz's 58-yard field goal lifts Saints over Texans, 30-28". ESPN.com. Associated Press. September 9, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  44. ^ "Bridgewater throws for 2 TDs, surging Saints top Bears 36-25". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 20, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  45. ^ "Saints triumphant in Brees' return, top Cardinals 31-9". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 27, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  46. ^ Genessy, Jody (November 28, 2019). "Saints QB/WR/RB/special teams star Taysom Hill feasts on Atlanta with historic game". Deseret News. Retrieved 2019.
  47. ^ "Saints beat Falcons to clinch third straight NFC South title". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 28, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  48. ^ "Brees sets NFL all-time TD mark as Saints crush Colts 34-7". www.espn.com. Associated Press. December 16, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  49. ^ "Vikings vs. Saints - Play-By-Play - January 5, 2020 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2020.
  50. ^ "Vikings vs. Saints - Game Summary - January 5, 2020 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2020.
  51. ^ Rapp, Timothy (March 7, 2020). "Saints Rumors: Taysom Hill Gets 1st-Round Tender Ahead of Restricted Free Agency". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2020.
  52. ^ "Saints agree to terms with quarterback Taysom Hill on two-year contract". neworleanssaints.com. April 26, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  53. ^ Just, Amie (April 26, 2020). "Taysom Hill signs 2-year deal to stay with the Saints; see his message to the city he 'loves'". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2020.
  54. ^ "Saints to start Hill at QB, per source; Brees to IR". ESPN.com. November 20, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  55. ^ "Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints - November 22nd, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2020.
  56. ^ a b "Taysom Hill Athlete Profile". BYU Cougars. Retrieved 2013.
  57. ^ O'Bannon, Whitney. "BYU football: Quarterback Taysom Hill engaged to Emily Nixon". Deseret News. Retrieved 2020.
  58. ^ Detrick, Chris (July 3, 2015). "BYU football: Taysom Hill born to run, within limits". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2018.

External links


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