Taysom Hill traveled a winding road to the NFL.

The former BYU quarterback opened up about his journey during a recent appearance on the “Case Studies” podcast.

From season-ending injuries to learning from Drew Brees, here are some of the highlights from what Hill had to say.

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A special phone call from Jim Harbaugh

After a promising start to his junior season at BYU, Hill fractured his left leg during a game against Utah State. It was his second season-ending injury.

While recovering, he got a phone call from then-San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh had recruited Hill while coaching at Stanford. But Hill never played for Harbaugh because he was hired by the San Francisco 49ers while Hill was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Harbaugh’s departure led to Hill going to BYU, he revealed on the podcast.

“He called me and he said, ‘Hey, what’s going on? How you doing?’ And I kind of opened up to him, and I was like, ‘Man, this is tough,’” Hill said.

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He confided in Harbaugh about the mental aspect of the rehab process.

“He goes, ‘You know what, Taysom?’ He goes, ‘Dude, you and I are wired the same way.’ He goes, like, ‘Yes, you want to be playing football. You want to be competing on the football field.’”

Harbaugh then encouraged Hill to channel his competitive drive into his studies. He told Hill to “go get in the classroom and go compete your butt off,” and that’s what Hill ended up doing.

Since that conversation, Harbaugh went on to coach at the University of Michigan and won the national championship this year. In January, he was hired to be the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

How injuries hampered Taysom Hill’s path to the NFL

In his final season at BYU, Hill tore his “tricep tendon off the bone” — his fourth season-ending injury.

He and his wife were weighing their options and trying to decide if he should continue on his finance track or try making it in the NFL. Hill had already met with investment banks like Goldman Sachs.

“I had job offers,” he said on the podcast. “Football is not sustainable, whether it’s right now or whether it’s whenever, it’s going to come to an end.”

He said he had talked with multiple agents by that point, but the calls stopped after his injury. He didn’t want to spend his life wondering about the what ifs, so he signed with an agency and worked hard on his rehab to participate in some capacity at BYU’s Pro Day.

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When the NFL draft rolled around, Hill went undrafted and ended up signing with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent.

“I didn’t go into it with any expectation of getting drafted,” he said. “I’m 26. I had four season-ending injuries. I’m barely going to be healthy enough to go do OTAs. So I had a lot of things to act against me. So I think in all of this, I just wanted an opportunity, and I didn’t want to wonder the what if.”

Why didn’t the Green Bay Packers keep Taysom Hill?

When the Packers were wrapping up their training camp and making their final roster cuts, Hill felt good about his chances of making the roster. The team was expected to keep three quarterbacks on the active roster.

Ten to 15 minutes before the final 53-man roster was supposed to be submitted, Hill called his wife and started making plans to start their next chapter together in Green Bay.

Then he got a call from the Packers. He was released that day.

“I sat with Coach McCarthy for like an hour talking about my camp,” Hill said. “(McCarthy said,) ‘You played well enough to deserve like a roster spot, but we just had injuries at different spots that we have to carry more defensive guys than what we were expecting.’”

What Taysom Hill said about Drew Brees

Before Hill could sign with Green Bay’s practice squad, he was claimed by the New Orleans Saints. Head coach Sean Payton had been looking for a receiver and was scouting Max McCaffrey, the brother of Christian McCaffrey, when he discovered Hill.

Payton’s move opened the door for Hill to learn from one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks: Drew Brees.

“(Drew’s) become like a brother to me,” Hill said. “I think that’s a hard thing to do as a guy who had had as much success as he had had at that point to let somebody in.”

Brees became Hill’s model of how a professional football player should act. Hill even woke up early to watch film with Brees at 6 a.m. every morning.

“Everything he did, I did,” he said. “I woke up early. I did every exercise that he did.”

Once football season rolled around, the two were nearly inseparable.

“From July to January, like, our wives would always joke that we spend way more time with each other than we do with them, but we were in there at six together, and we would stay till seven, you know? But yeah, it was everything,” he said.

With the exception of his brief 2017 offseason stint with the Packers, Hill has spent the entirety of his NFL career with the Saints, where he has played at quarterback, tight end and special teams. He is under contract with the team through the 2025 season.

BYU's quarterback Taysom Hill pushes Texas' Adrian Colbert away on a run that was called back as BYU and Texas play Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News