By Martin Harris
BYU received a reputation as being a quarterback factory years ago, and now it appears the school has manufactured yet another.
Quarterback Brandon Doman is etching his name in BYU history along with other greats such as Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, Ty Detmer and Steve Sarkisian.
“I think the bottom line is, coach Edwards and coach Crowton gave me the chance to play,” Doman said.
Doman has reeled off 13 consecutive victories as the starting quarterback, and has put up Heisman-worthy numbers.
“I wouldn”t have the offensive numbers unless guys are getting open,” Doman said. “The numbers mean our team is doing good.”
Doman was named one of 12 semifinalists for the Davey O”Brien Award, given to the nation”s top quarterback. Other semifinalists for the award this year include Eric Crouch, Ken Dorsey, Joey Harrington and Rex Grossman.
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, three finalists for the award will be announced. If Doman wins the award, he joins former Cougars Jim McMahon (1981), Steve Young (1983) and Ty Detmer (1990-91) as O”Brien winners.
The trek for Doman has been anything but typical. He was highly recruited coming out of high school in Salt Lake City.
Nebraska, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and UCLA are just a few of the schools that wanted Doman”s services on the football field.
However, he decided to stay close to home and play football where three of his older brothers had played, in Provo.
He served a mission in Argentina and returned to the team for the 1998 season. He played in four games and threw only two passes, one for 30 yards and the other for an interception.
The 1999 season was not promising. He played in 10 games but each time as a receiver. Again he only threw two passes, one incomplete and the other for an interception.
Going into the 2000 season, Doman was ranked as the third-string quarterback behind Charlie Peterson and Bret Engemann. He planned on redshirting that season and changing positions, from quarterback to free safety. He hoped the new position would give him a chance to play.
By the end of the season, all of his plans would change. Doman”s big opportunity came against Colorado State, with only three games remaining in the season.
BYU had gained less than a hundred yards of total offense halfway through the third quarter, and it looked like BYU”s consecutive shutout streak would end.
Doman came into the game and lifted the team. With the help of the defense forcing Colorado State turnovers, he led the team to three touchdowns in the final 20 minutes. The Cougars lost the game, but they had found a new leader. It was the last time the team would experience the feeling of losing.
“He has become the leader of this team,” offensive lineman Ben Archibald said. “How well Brandon plays determines how well we play. Everybody looks up to him.”
The Cougars have a perfect record when Doman starts as quarterback. His senior season has been a time of coming out of obscurity and onto the national stage.
ESPN.com has listed Doman on its Heisman watch list several times throughout the season. Several other major sites have listed Doman as a Heisman hopeful.
“He”s an amazing competitor and quarterback,” running back Ned Stearns said. “To follow where he has come from to where he is now is a credit to him and his work ethic.”
His teammates say Doman is not the prototypical football player.
“He is the opposite of a football player,” Archibald said. “He is kind, compassionate and down to earth. He”s not the typical rough and gruff player.”
“He”s a level-headed guy,” Stearns said. “He knows how to have fun and he knows how to work.”
Doman has placed himself among elite company this season. He ranks seventh in the nation in passing touchdowns with 26, and sixth in passing efficiency with a 156.8 rating. He is in the top 20 in all the major quarterback statistical categories.
Regardless of postseason awards, Doman is on the verge of leading the Cougars to only their second undefeated season.
With three more wins, Doman will finish his career as the starting quarterback the same way he began it – perfectly.