I grew up watching John Beck beat Utah with that pass to Jonny Harline and all of it. So the opportunity to play quarterback at BYU is something I couldn't pass up. —Hayden Livingston
RIGBY, Idaho — Hayden Livingston wanted to wear No. 11, the same number his father wore while playing, when he first played organized football back when he was 12-years old. Turns out that same father strongly encouraged him to wear No. 14 instead, upon learning No. 11 was already taken.
The reason? It was the number former BYU Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer wore.
Livingston didn't know much about Detmer at the time, but soon received a thorough education. His father would show film of his games, most notably BYU's win over Miami in 1990, and Livingston quickly became a huge fan.
So when Detmer, now as BYU's offensive coordinator and quarteracks coach, got in touch with Livingston about three weeks before National Letter of Intent Day, you could imagine his excitement.
"It was incredible to talk to him," Livingston said. "He told me they had watched my film and really liked what they saw. He told me they'd like me to take a trip down there to meet with me and I couldn't have been more excited."
The trip Livingston just completed, per Detmer's invitation, wasn't the first trip he'd undertaken to BYU.
Since his sophomore year he'd been attending BYU's summer camps, but didn't catch much interest from former coach Bronco Mendenhall's staff, as a result.
Air Force did show interest, however, and offered the 6-foot-1, 185-pound quarterback toward the end of his senior season.
"I committed to Air Force because it was my only offer and it was a great opportunity," Livingston said. "I really had heard nothing from BYU, although it's always been the school I wanted to play for."
While on his trip, Livingston met with new BYU coach Kalani Sitake, who brokered a preferred walk-on opportunity this coming season. With that opportunity, Livingston will have a chance to earn a scholarship after his planned missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was an offer Livingston jumped at.
"I grew up watching John Beck beat Utah with that pass to Jonny Harline and all of it. So the opportunity to play quarterback at BYU is something I couldn't pass up," Livingston said. "It's a great opportunity, for me, to represent the program I love and all the people who have helped develop me to get me to this point.