BYU football is known for its long line of memorable quarterbacks, and freshman Tanner Mangum is another addition to the list.
Mangum became the first BYU freshman quarterback to surpass the 3,000-yardsingle season passing mark in the Cougars’ 51-28 win against Utah State. He joins the 3,000-yard club as the 13th member and is the first to do so since Max Hall accomplished the feat in 2009.
Mangum’s performance against Utah State was a fitting regular season end to his eye-opening freshman year, throwing four touchdown passes and 284 yards against the Aggies. He started the year with the miracle Hail Mary pass to win in Nebraska and ended the regular season with some sharp shooting to take home the rivalry’s Wagon Wheel.
Senior receiver Mitch Mathews said after the Nebraska win that he had never seen so much poise in a freshman. That poise and confidence did not waver as the season went on but only grew stronger. Mangum’s future is bright as BYU’s starting quarterback and his development at the position doesn’t show signs of slowing down.
Mangum broke all kinds of freshman quarterback records this season in addition to the passing yards record. He has the most wins by a freshman quarterback at eight, the most touchdown passes in a row with eight and the most completions by a freshman quarterback with 242. Jake Heaps, the former record holder, had six wins as a freshman starter, six games in a row with a touchdown pass and 219 completions as a freshman.
Mangum currently ranks 45th out of 126 FBS quarterbacks in ESPN’s Total Quarterback Ratings. For a freshman quarterback who was suddenly thrust into a starting role with the expectation to live up to the BYU quarterback legacy, he has done a phenomenal job. The Cougars’ season could have been lost with the injury of Taysom Hill, but Mangum came in to save the day and even the season.
Whether it’s Taysom Hill or Tanner Mangum in the shotgun for the Cougars next year, fans are excited to see the next page of prolific passing in BYU’s quarterback history.