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BYU football: Tanner Mangum, Taysom Hill give the Cougars vastly different QB looks

Tanner and Taysom are skilled BYU quarterbacks from Idaho. That's where the similarities end.

BYU v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

On BYU football media day, Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum went to every media source and blamed the media for pitting them against each other and downplaying the natural rivalry. Immediately afterward, both star quarterbacks would speak about how much they enjoy the competition their counterpart provides.

So, at the risk of being another person stirring the pot, I’ll state the basics.

Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum are competing against one another for the starting quarterback spot. Each player would like to win the QB competition over the other. Each represents a vastly different skill set for the BYU offense. The decision by Ty Detmer and the BYU football staff concerning who will win the starting position will have a massive impact on the team. Whoever wins the QB battle will constantly be looking over their shoulder knowing the runner-up is there to replace them. Should one of them start a game by throwing interceptions on consecutive possessions, fans will loudly call for the other in the stands.

There is nothing fabricated about any of that.

It is the most fascinating QB battle in the country. The intrigue is found in the colossal gap between Tanner and Taysom’s style of play, while sharing one thing in common: They both have been very good quarterbacks.

Fans are familiar with the chasm between Mangum and Hill on the field.

Mangum has a heady approach to the game with a great ability to throw and a knack for performance in the clutch. His folk hero status at BYU has been built on the unlikely — overcoming the odds by trusting his receivers to finish the play. When Tanner has a big moment it is a surprise. How did that just happen? It is euphoria yielded by the improbable.

Hill represents an athletic approach to football. Taysom has always been most effective when he physically outperforms his opponents. His physicality is responsible for his biggest moments. His superhero status at BYU has been built due to his ability to take broken plays and single-handedly turn them into long runs. When Taysom makes a big play it is never a surprise. Of course he can do that. It is joy provided by the extraordinarily gifted.

Outside of their way to play football on the field, Tanner and Taysom are seemingly opposites. For instance, look at the main revelations about each from media day.

Taysom Hill spent the day bragging he is still the strongest guy on the team despite being a quarterback. In fact, Taysom lifts with the linemen. Hill stated on media day that he is “100%” physically 9 months after lisfranc injury — months faster recovery than most anyone with that particular ailment. So, the “Thor-terback” is still superhuman.

Taysom even used the day to discuss his “4 or 5-handicap” golf game. Which will come in handy for his lucrative investment banking future, should this be his last season in football.

Meanwhile, fans learned Tanner Mangum lifts with the other quarterbacks. Mangum feels better now, one year removed from his diet of “rice, beans, and Coca-Cola” he devoured in Chile. Tanner announced he has suffered an injury: An injury of the heart. His engagement to former BYU volleyball star Alexa Gray has ended. Which makes this possibly the most awkward subtweet of all-time.

Tanner is showing he is a human. Despite being a skilled quarterback, Mangum seemed like the most average BYU sophomore in the world.

When asked, Tanner revealed his golf game is just OK. Which probably fits in just perfectly with his co-workers at his summer job at Domo.

These two are as different as Jason Bourne and Finding Dory.

The quarterback you prefer is likely to be inline with which of those films you enjoyed more.

One is back for another surprising installment about a superhuman methodically overcoming his past. The other is about a fish that embraces her limits and treats friends as family in order to access her past.

Both are fun to watch.

Choosing between them may simply come down to fit and preference. Which is better? Well, what are you in the mood for?