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College football countdown No. 1: BYU quarterback Ty Detmer

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Editor's note: In anticipation of the 121st college football season in Utah, DeseretNews.com writer Jay Yeomans is ranking the 50 greatest Division I college football players of all time from the state of Utah. We're counting down the 50 days until Sept. 1 when Southern Utah at Utah and Weber State at Utah State kick off at 6 p.m. Rankings are based on what the player did during his college career.


1. Ty Detmer, BYU, quarterback (1987-1991)

Of all the players to have ever played college football in Utah, Detmer is, by far, the most decorated. He was a two-time consensus All-American, the first-ever two-time winner of the Davey O'Brien Award, a Sammy Baugh and Maxwell Award recipient and the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner. Along the way, he set 59 NCAA records.

His Heisman Trophy-winning season of 1990 saw him complete 64.2 percent of his passes for 5,188 yards and 41 touchdowns for the 10-3 Cougars. A year later, he passed for more than 4,000 yards for the third straight season while throwing 35 touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 15,031 yards and 121 touchdowns to go along with 14 scores on the ground. He was elected to the BYU Hall of Fame in 2000 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.


No. 2: Jim McMahon

No. 3: Merlin Olsen

No. 4: Gordon Hudson

No. 5: Roy Jefferson

No. 6: Robbie Bosco

No. 7: Jason Buck

No. 8: Steve Young

No. 9: Larry Wilson

No. 10: Marc Wilson

No. 11: Eric Weddle

No. 12: Phil Olsen

No. 13: Alex Smith

No. 14: Luke Staley

No. 15: Clay Brown

No. 16: Louie Giammona

No. 17: Rob Morris

No. 18: Austin Collie

No. 19: Kevin Curtis

No. 20: Dennis Pitta

No. 21: Lee Grosscup

No. 22: Bobby Wagner

No. 23: Kyle Van Noy

No. 24: Gifford Nielsen

No. 25: Jordan Gross

No. 26: Luther Elliss

No. 27: Mohammed Elewonibi

No. 28: Ed Pine

No. 29: Steve Clark

No. 30: Kyle Morrell

No. 31: Star Lotulelei

No. 32: Phil Odle

No. 33: Henry King

No. 34: Erroll Tucker

No. 35: Rod Wood

No. 36: Gary Sheide

No. 37: Rulon Jones

No. 38: Steve Odom

No. 39: Virgil Carter

No. 40: Bill Staley

No. 41: Devontae Booker

No. 42: Nick Eyre

No. 43: Cody Hoffman

No. 44: Louie Sakoda

No. 45: Harvey Unga

No. 46: Marv Bateman

No. 47: Demario Brown

No. 48: Bryan Rowley

No. 49: Robert Turbin

No. 50: Tom Hackett

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.