BYU Legend Steve Young Named One Of College Football’s Greatest Players

Jan 9, 2020, 7:42 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm
OCT 24 1982; Steve Young, the descendant of Brigham Young who quarterbacks BYU, scrambles upfield d...
OCT 24 1982; Steve Young, the descendant of Brigham Young who quarterbacks BYU, scrambles upfield during Saturday's win over CSU.; (Photo By Damian Strohmeyer/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo By Damian Strohmeyer/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Steve Young ranked as one of the 150 greatest players in college football history by ESPN. In celebration of college football’s 150th birthday, the outlet put out their rankings for the top 150 players of all-time from Nos. 26-150.

Young, a two-year starter at quarterback during his career at BYU, checked in at No. 87 on the list. Here’s what ESPN had to say about the former Cougar star.

Before the left-handed Young won three Super Bowl titles with the San Francisco 49ers, he was a dangerous dual-threat quarterback at BYU. As a senior in 1983, Young led the Cougars to an 11-1 record and victory in the Holiday Bowl. He set a BYU single-season record by completing 71.3% of his passes for 3,802 yards with 33 touchdowns. He also ran for 444 yards and eight scores. He was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and won the Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien awards. Young finished his BYU career with 7,733 passing yards and 56 touchdowns while running for 1,084 yards and 18 scores.

ESPN will release Nos. 1-25 at a later date. It will be interesting to see if another BYU quarterback shows up on the list. Many would consider Young to be the third-best quarterback to play at BYU behind Ty Detmer and Jim McMahon. But there’s no question that Young’s 1983 squad was one of the best teams to ever play at BYU and Young was one of the best athletes to come through the program.

What makes Young’s success remarkable is that he was buried as the eighth-string quarterback when he arrived at BYU. Quarterbacks coach Doug Scovil didn’t believe Young was a quarterback and didn’t want to coach a left-handed signal-caller. He proved everyone wrong and rose up the depth chart during BYU’s glory days as a program.

Young is one of six BYU players to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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