SAN FRANCISCO -- One of BYU quarterback Taysom Hill's Bay Area connections fell through, but his relationship with Steve Young is just beginning to blossom.

Hill, who will lead the Cougars against Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday night at AT&T Park, originally committed to play at Stanford for former coach Jim Harbaugh.

Instead, when he returned from his two-year Mormon mission to Australia, he enrolled at BYU, where he is following a long line of great quarterbacks who played there, including Young.

When Hill rushed for 259 yards to lead BYU to a 40-21 win over Texas this season, one of the text messages he received was from the former 49ers star.

"Congratulations. I'm really impressed by the way you played," Young texted him.

"He's done that a couple different times," Hill said. "He's a great guy. He goes out of his way to do these things. It's fun to be able to be in that brotherhood and to have allies like that."

Hill expected to play at Stanford, even after Harbaugh left for the 49ers and was replaced by David Shaw. But Stanford wanted Hill to enroll before his mission was complete, so he switched to BYU.

It's been a good fit. Hill passed for 2,645 yards and 19 touchdowns this fall and ran for 1,211 yards and nine TDs.

  • Interim UW coach Marques Tuiasosopo said his players have avoided being distracted by an NCAA investigation into defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, who has been accused of paying $4,500 to the family of a potential recruit to help with tutoring. Lupoi, who played in high school at De La Salle, is denying it.

    Other events of the past month, starting with coach Steve Sarkisian taking the USC job, have taught the players to stay focused on their own business.

    "I don't know if there would be (a distraction) any bigger than that," Tuiasosopo said.

    Lupoi, a former Cal player and assistant coach, remains on the UW staff and will coach Friday night, Tuiasosopo said, "until we hear otherwise."

  • Washington quarterback Keith Price, a graduate of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, purchased cable TV coverage so he could watch his alma mater's state championship matchup against DLS on Saturday. Bosco won 20-14.

  • Redshirt freshman defensive back Cleveland Wallace, formerly of Oak Grove High-San Jose, has left the UW program and will transfer to another school. Tuiasosopo said the move was in the works before Sarkisian left and Chris Petersen was hired as his successor.

  • On Christmas, Washington's players will serve food at Glide Memorial Church while BYU players work at St. Anthony's Dining Room.

    Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo.

    fight hunger bowl
    Friday: BYU (8-4) vs. Washington (8-4) at AT&T Park, 6:30 p.m. ESPN