PROVO — Former BYU players Marc Wilson, Robbie Bosco and Luke Staley received the highest honor at halftime of BYU's game against Wisconsin, having the No. 6 jersey retired, the same number each of them wore while playing for the Cougars.
All were named All-Americans while playing in Provo, with Wilson becoming the first consensus All-American named from the football program. Wilson threw for 7,637 yards and 61 touchdowns while leading the Cougars to three WAC titles, over his BYU career.
“It’s an amazing honor. It’s a phenomenal honor. But I really don’t think of it as an honor to me, so much as an honor to the team I played on in 1979,” Wilson said. “That’s what it’s really about. It’s not a ‘me thing’, but more of a ‘we thing.’ But it’s a great honor.”
Wilson's best memory of playing at what is now LaVell Edwards Stadium was in 1977, when he led the Cougars to a 38-8 win over Utah while throwing for 571 yards, which broke an NCAA record.
Bosco, who led BYU to a national championship in 1984, recalled finding out during an early 47-13 win over Baylor that year of his team's potential.
“I don’t think we really knew how good we were going to be, and we came out on fire,” Bosco recalled. “…I think from that moment on, we felt offensively that we were going to be pretty good.”
For Staley, he recalled his game-winning touchdown run in a 24-21 win over Utah in 2001 but stated his fondest memory being something else.
“Every time I ran out of that tunnel I felt so proud to put on that jersey, and to be part of this team — part of this history,” Staley said.
All three former players brought up other players who wore No. 6 — most notably punt and kick returner James Dye and Curtis Brown, with Bosco, who has worked at BYU for 28 years, stating, “Every football season I pick out who is wearing number six and how they’re doing. I kind of watch them and it’s a number, I think, that means something to me. It’s cool to follow them and watch what they do with that number.”