Flashback: Taysom Hill still a master in the art of making a debut

Taysom Hill brings pressure on a punt vs. The Carolina Panthers (Scott Threlkeld, The Advocate)

By now, you have probably not just heard about Taysom Hill's electric debut in the NFL, but you a have also seen the plays. If not, hurry and click here. When you step back, and look big picture it's very fascinating what happened Sunday.

The New Orleans Saints were playing the Carolina Panthers. That puts Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and rookie sensations Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara all on the same field. Let's not forget Luke Kuechly and Julius Peppers on the Panthers defense. That is a lot of star power. Yet, Taysom Hill was able to steal the spotlight from all of them as he made his NFL debut--on special teams.

It helped that the Panthers' punter dropped the ball on a punt when Hill was rushing. Objectively, there is no hard evidence that Hill had anything to do with it. Then again, this is Hill we are talking about, so maybe, just maybe he did. Anybody who has played a few years of competitive sports knows you cannot rule out the possibility that the Panthers punter saw just enough of a black blur in his peripheral vision charging at great speed that he got nervous and dropped the ball.

From there it became a Taysom Hill love fest for the next half hour.

The fascination increases when you remember his debut as a BYU Cougar.

BYU opened the 2012 season with a Thursday night game against Washington State broadcast on ESPN. There was added national attention as the game marked the return to college football of the eccentric Mike Leech.

Hill’s college career was barely a quarter old, when he got his first chance to play. Facing 4th and 1 at the Washington State 18-yard line, offensive coordinator Brandon Doman sent the signal to insert the true freshman into the lineup. Hill replaced starting quarterback Riley Nelson behind center and took the direct snap.

Hill faked a hand off and scrambled to the right looking to run for the first down. Just as he was about to tuck the ball away, lower his shoulder, and run for the first down, Hill spotted Kaneakua Friel wide open. He pulled up and threw Friel the ball. Friel caught it and crossed the goal line for a touchdown with 13:26 to play in the second quarter.

A touchdown on the first pass attempt of his college career. An electric special teams debut in the NFL.

How does he do it?

Maybe you don't explain it. Just accept it. That's just who he is. An amazing athlete with an intangible quality that attracts success.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com