Tanner Mangum named starting quarterback, team captain for 2018 season

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The BYU quarterback race is finally over: senior Tanner Mangum will be the starting quarterback for the 2018 football season, BYU football announced Aug. 24.

During a press conference on Aug. 27, head coach Kalani Sitake addressed the decision, which came eight days before BYU’s season opener against the University of Arizona. When a reporter asked why Sitake chose Mangum, his answer was simple: “He deserved it.”

The decision came following the completion of BYU football’s fall camp last week, which started at the beginning of August.

“He knew he had to compete for the spot,” Sitake said of Mangum. “He had prepared himself in a lot of different areas to be the quarterback.”

Mangum also spoke at the press conference, saying his goal for fall camp was to do his best each day without worrying about winning the position.

When Mangum learned he would be the starting quarterback, he said he reflected on the “journey” of the last year, including a season-ending injury against Fresno State and a 4-9 season.

Savannah Hopkinson
Tanner Mangum throws a pass against Utah on Sept. 9, 2017. (Savannah Hopkinson)

“It’s been a wild ride, a lot of ups and downs, so I’m just really thankful for the opportunity to be able to play, to be able to have this chance to finish out my senior year on a high note,” Mangum said. “It’s been a tough ride with the injuries and setbacks and everything, but now to be able to come out and play football is a big blessing.”

Mangum will also serve as a team captain for the second consecutive year, according to the Twitter account BYU Cougars PR. Seven other team members will join Mangum as team captains, including seniors Brayden El-Bakri and Butch Pau’u.

Zach Wilson, the freshman who competed head-to-head with Mangum for the starting quarterback spot, is listed in the post-camp depth chart as the second string quarterback.

“We felt that Tanner earned the starting spot, but we feel really pleased with the progress that we saw in Zach,” Sitake said.

Sitake said he was also pleased with the progress of the other quarterbacks on the roster, including freshman Jaren Hall and sophomore Joe Critchlow.

“We plan on getting our depth better, and we’re going to need more than 11 guys to win games on both sides of the ball and on special teams,” Sitake said. “We felt like we accomplished a lot in the off-season and in fall camp to get us as game-ready as possible.”

According to byucougars.com, the Cougars will play the University of Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, Arizona on Sept. 1 at 8:45 pm MST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYU Sports Network and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.

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