The lone bright spot of Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin was the halftime ceremony retiring the No. 6 of former Cougar stars Marc Wilson, Robbie Bosco and Luke Staley.
Marc Wilson is the eldest of the three and played quarterback for BYU from 1975-1979. Originally from Seattle, Wilson broke nine NCAA records and tied two others during his time as a Cougar.
Additionally, Wilson threw for 7,637 yards and 61 touchdowns, resulting in WAC titles during all three years as a starter.
Wilson responded humbly when asked what this meant to him.
“I don’t really think of it as an honor to me really so much as an honor to the team I played on in 1979, I think that’s what it’s really about,” he said.
In 1979, Wilson won the Sammy Baugh Trophy and was named a NCAA Top Five Award winner. He also won the WAC Offensive Player of the Year and lead the NCAA in total offense that year.
He was BYU’s first consensus All-American and finished third in the 1979 Heisman trophy balloting.
Wilson went on to be drafted 15th overall in the first round by the Oakland Raiders and played 11 NFL seasons. He played for four teams and won two Super Bowl championships, with the 1980 Oakland Raiders and the 1983 Los Angeles Raiders.
He was inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
The second honoree wearing No. 6 was Robbie Bosco. Also a quarterback, Bosco lead BYU to the 1984 National Championship with a perfect 13-0 record. He went 24-3 as a starter, broke nine NCAA records and had 8,148 passing yards in his career.
Hailing from Roseville, California, Bosco played for BYU from 1981-1985. He won the Sammy Baugh Trophy in 1984 and lead the nation in total offense. He finished third in the Heisman voting in both 1984 and 1985.
“To me its the greatest sport out there,” Bosco said. “And to be surrounded by a hundred other teammates and to accomplish the goals that we’ve accomplished is truly amazing.”
Bosco was drafted in the third round by the Green Bay Packers in the 1986 NFL draft.
Bosco came back to BYU as a quarterback coach from 1990-2003 and was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1995. He currently serves as BYU’s Varsity Club director.
To Bosco, the No. 6 is one that has great significance.
“I will not lie, every football season I check out who’s wearing number six, and I watch them,” he said. “It’s a number that means something to me.”
The youngest honoree was running back Luke Staley from Tualatin, Oregon, who played from 1999-2001.
In 2001, Staley led all of Division I with 8.1 yards per carry while scoring 15.5 points per game. He finished that year with a then-school record of 1,582 rushing yards. He also led the nation in rushing and set another school record with 24 rushing touchdowns.
During his season as a junior in 2001, Staley led one of the most successful BYU offenses of all time.
The Cougars were No. 1 the nation in points (46.8) and yards (542.9) per game. The team went on to win the Mountain West Conference and went 12-2 that season.
Staley looked back on his time at BYU with great pride.
“Every time I ran out of that tunnel, I just felt so proud to put on that jersey and to be part of this team and to be a part of the history and the legacy,” he said. “To me, this honor is about sharing it with my family and with my kids.”
Staley was drafted in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He is BYU’s career leader in total points scored by a non-kicker, with 290.
Staley was inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.