Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer was praised Jan. 30 by President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, as a person "who honors the highest code of conduct not only on the gridiron, but also in life."

Detmer, who holds 42 NCAA records and has tied five others, has been named Deseret News Athlete of the Year for 1990 and was feted at a luncheon in his honor in the Lion House in Salt Lake City. President Monson, who is chairman of the board of the Deseret News, presented Detmer with his Athlete of the Year plaque.Attending the luncheon were officials of the Church, BYU and the Deseret News, and several of Detmer's teammates. General Authorities attending, in addition to President Monson, were President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency; and members of the Council of the Twelve, the Presidency of the Seventy, the Utah South Area Presidency, and the Presiding Bishopric.

Among the NCAA records that Detmer holds is most consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass ; most games passing for 300 yards or more (25, including 24 consecutive games); most passing yards in a season (5,188) and most TD passes in a career .

In his remarks, President Monson said that Detmer was "a hero, a legend, a beloved athlete - and above all, a man."

As quarterback on BYU's football team, Detmer "was a man who took punishment but he didn't blame his offensive line, or the officials or his receivers. And he was a man who could properly handle a victory."

"Today we honor Detmer, the man," President Monson emphasized.

Among the honors Detmer has received are the Heisman Trophy, given to the nation's best collegiate football player; the Maxwell Trophy, for the player of the year; the Davey O'Brien Trophy, for the best quarterback in the country; and the CBS Player of the Year award. He was named first-team All-American by the Associated Press, United Press International, The Football News, Scripps Howard, the Football Writers of America, and the Walter Camp Foundation.

President Monson said Detmer, in talking about what the BYU team has accomplished, "never uses the word `I' but his emphasis is always on the word `we.' "

After receiving the Deseret News Athlete of the Year award, Detmer responded and gave credit to his teammates. "Others do the work," he said, "and I get credit for it."