In a slightly under-the-radar move, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that he will target dual threat quarterbacks moving forward, tweaking his program's identification and moving toward a more modern approach to his scheme. With the departure of pro-style quarterback Jake Heaps to Kansas, and with Riley Nelson the entrenched starter heading into 2012, Bronco's announcement has the potential to be a program defining moment. And it will certainly affect the quarterbacks in the BYU pipeline long after Riley's Abs has gone the way of the dust. Taysom Hill, former Stanford commit, fits the model quite well. As does Ammon Olsen, who will return from his mission this month. As for Tanner Mangum, the question remains to be answered.
BYU has always struggled to match up with athletic defenses. This schematic move will help the program move forward, and provide a needed challenge for the defenses that BYU faces. BYU will always be athletically inferior to the elite defenses it face and a mobile quarterback is a great way of filing the void. I have always thought that BYU could be effective running a Stanford-style, heavy-set run/pass gameplan. In fact, I thought that is what Brandon Doman was insinuating when he said he would be implementing a "pro-style" offense during last off-season. That simply didn't come to pass in the 2011 campaign. How much of that was as a result of fullback Iona Pritchard's spring injury and how much of it simply is Doman's inability and/or desire to run the pro-set? It remains to be seen.
A few folks on Twitter made the suggestion that this move will help BYU keep its opponents of their feet, as a unique scheme is a positive against teams who rarely see you play. Viva Independence? The benefits remain to be seen but one can look back on this announcement as one of the defining moments of Bronco Mendenhall's career.