Brigham Young University started out in 1875, located in the town of Provo, Utah. Named after its founder and the leader of the Mormon Church, the school has become the most famous Latter-Day Saints university in America.
Despite its roots as a religious institution, BYU has also gained quite the reputation in sports. Contrary to popular belief, the university's athletics are not compromised of just LDS players, even though it is certainly a hub for Mormon athletes.
Faith On the Gridiron
The BYU football program is one of the best in the country, with a rich history that includes a National Championship in 1984. That '84 team was led by NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, who guided the Cougars to an undefeated season. Young, a Mormon athlete, would go on to have even more success with the San Francisco 49ers. Other famous Mormon football alums include Heisman winner Ty Detmer and Super Bowl champions Brett Keisel and Bart Oates.
This year, the program has once again returned to prominence, led by star quarterback Zach Wilson. The school is ranked 18th in the nation, with just one loss on their record as a FBS independent. Wilson, a follower of the Mormon faith, will likely be picked in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Currently, the most prominent NFL player to have attended BYU might be Taysom Hill, now a dual-threat quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. Hill has shined while filling in for injured Saints quarterback Drew Brees, bringing many of the skills he showed off in Utah to the NFL. His bond with other famous BYU alums is also a notable example of the kind of bond many alums have long after they leave school:
However, BYU's football stars have not always been followers of the Mormon faith. Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams, the school's all-time leading rusher, was a non-Mormon athlete. Williams violated the school's strict Honor Code by bringing a girl into his room, which had him off the team before eventually returning for his senior year. Former Bears quarterback and Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon also attended BYU, yet was raised as a Roman Catholic.
The Honor Code Culture
In an interview, McMahon discussed what he believed to be 20was