BYU freshman quarterback Taysom Hill isn't brash and cocky. He doesn't have that Max Hall swagger. Not yet, anyway.
In terms of confidence, he's more like John Beck -- self-assured, but without a hint of arrogance.
"I am confident in my ability, like I said, to run the offense," Hill said after BYU's practice Monday. "And I am confident in the guys around me. We have great receivers, running backs, tight ends, and our O-line. And so there is no reason that we shouldn't be scoring points right now. Like I said, we are ironing a few things out on the practice field right now. I am comfortable and I am confident."
As you can read in my report from practice last night, Hill said he took "the majority of the reps" in practice Monday as senior Riley Nelson tries to rest his aching back.
"As the coaches have said, it will be a game-time decision whether Riley goes or not," Hill said.
And if Nelson can't go, Hill said he knows the offense well enough to be effective for an entire game against Hawaii (Friday, 6 p.m., ESPN).
"I am comfortable with the offense, and the plays that we have in for this week, and my ability to run and execute those," Hill said. "I think that goes to show and reflect our coaching staff. Coach [Brandon] Doman has done a great job in getting me ready for this time, right now, in the season. I think a big part of it had to do with me getting here in January.
The first day I got here, I was in the playbook, and learning those things, so I would be ready for spring ball and fall camp, to be able to compete and to have the opportunity to do what I am doing now."
Hill was sporting a nasty rash on his left shoulder, a scab-like deal which looked like the knee of someone who plays too much slow-pitch softball, on Monday, the result of being taken to the turf at Bronco Stadium.
"I loved it, being in that environment," he said. "As far as having the opportunity to play a quarter and a half, or two quarters, I will say I did earn a greater respect for Riley, and the things that he does.
You know, I took a lot of shots, and I was banged up. And so I earned a great respect for Riley, and what he's been doing throughout his career here."
Does he expect to play on Friday?
"Yeah, probably, I think so," he said. "As far as to get my mind ready to go, and as far as the preparation goes, and getting my head where it needs to be, as far as the plays and the offense and everything else. It is probably my mindset right now.. ... I think my plan is to do all those things that I need to do right now to be ready to play. I am planning on playing. As far as my preparation, that's what I need to do. That's the mindset I have."