Loyal Cougars

Backup quarterback Ammon Olsen leaving BYU

The second-string quarterback is headed back to a familiar destination in search of more playing time.

Junior quarterback Ammon Olsen is leaving BYU and will transfer to Southern Utah University, where he played previously. He should be eligible to play for the Thunderbirds immediately. The Salt Lake Tribune‘s Jay Drew first reported the story.

Olsen leaves BYU after two years in the program. In 2012, Olsen quarterbacked the scout team while redshirting. In 2013, the Draper, Utah native was named backup to fellow sophomore Taysom Hill.

In 2013, Olsen took snaps in three games, against Utah State, Middle Tennessee and Idaho State. Olsen’s career statistics at BYU are 1-3 for 4 yards, with one rushing attempt for another 4 yards.

Olsen came to BYU after his mission with highly regarded talent. The 6-foot-3 quarterback enrolled at Southern Utah in 2009 after being named Utah’s Gatorade Player of the Year and the Utah 5A MVP at Alta High School. He threw a total of 14 passes as a Thunderbird before serving a mission.

The transfer leaves the Cougars a little thin at the quarterback position, with Taysom Hill and Billy Green being the only current scholarship quarterbacks available and walk-on Christian Stewart providing depth and diversity to the group.

Now it seems landing three-star 2014 QB target Ronald Monroe is key to depth at the position and would be most opportune for the Texan. Monroe is currently committed to Washington State as a receiver; word is the dual-threat signal caller wants to play quarterback and is keen on BYU leading up to his visit to Provo on January 31. A commitment from Monroe would not only be a boon to the position talent, but Monroe could compete for the backup job immediately.


  1. S-dub

    January 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Olsen was always stuck in a hard spot, being positioned so perfectly behind Hill and in that unique Riley Nelson-to-Tanner-Mangum era (which has belonged to Hill since the former Stanford commit was serving an LDS mission in Australia, really).

    The best bet now, apart from Monroe de-committing from Wazzu after his visit to Provo, would be for Hill to not get injured (obviously), but also to allow Christian Stewart to take the role of first backup (presumably with a full scholarship). Stewart was also a highly touted quarterback coming out of Timpanogos HS, and his time running the scout team as a freshman before starting at Snow College probably gives him the experience edge on Green.

    Without looking at a calendar, it strikes me that Mangum will be back from his mission in a year, which means BYU really only has to fill-in the backups for the 2014-15 season before allowing the youngster to take over in his developmental role.

    As far as Olsen is concerned, this move probably benefits him greatly. He’s got a ton of talent, but Hill’s decommit from Stanford threw his recruiting process through a loop. He should walk right into the starting QB competition in Cedar City, and — by winning it — could lead the T-birds to a nice run through the Big Sky. But that’s playoff talk … PLAYOFFS???!?!

  2. Justin Whiting

    January 22, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Man, we were looking so deep at QB, but we are really going to be in trouble now if Hill goes down. Totally understand why Olsen is leaving, but Anae’s offense seems very difficult to pick up quickly so we need to have young guys come in as back ups for a couple years before they will be ready to play.

    Good luck Ammon. STAY HEALTHY TAYSOM!!!!