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.
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."
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