The BYU Cougars are off to a rousing start during the first two weeks of the 2015 college football season. With time winding down on the clock for the win, BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum delivered a game-winning Hail Mary bomb, not once, but twice. The first victory was realized on Saturday, 5 September in a 33-28 win against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. That victory was followed by a 35-24 win against the Boise State Broncos on Saturday, 12 September at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.
Tanner Mangum’s fast rise to stardom has not gone unnoticed. On Thursday, 17 September 2015, BYU Football posted a music video to its official YouTube account in celebration of its magical start to the season. The rap song “Dreamin: A Tribute to BYU Football” which is featured in the video was written by James Curran, better known as James the Mormon. In the 6 days since its release, the video already has over 100,000 views on YouTube and over 76,000 views on Facebook. According to a Deseret News article dated 18 September:
The rap includes a tribute to injured Taysom Hill, freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum and the Cougar exciting season that lies ahead.
Assisting James the Mormon in the making of this video were Yohosh Bonner on vocals, Sam Wilder behind the camera and Chance Lift editing the rap. American Leadership boys basketball coach Yahosh Bonner also shared his musical voice for the rap.
The man of the hour, standing at 6’3” and weighing in at 210 pounds, Tanner Mangum from Eagle, Idaho, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a freshman at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, and has recently returned from serving a two-year full-time mission for the Church in Antofogasta, Chile. He has an older brother, Parker, who also played at BYU, and a sister, Meredith, who played soccer at Boise State. His brother, Madison, currently plays receiver at Idaho State.
According to his BYU Cougar Profile, ESPN lists him as “an efficient, technically consistent pocket passer that is an above average athlete as well.” He was also recruited by Arkansas, Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah, and Washington State.
James the Mormon refers to Tanner as one of the humblest people that he has ever met. In a radio interview on Monday, 21 September with radio personality, Dan Patrick, Tanner responded to the question of how a football player benefits from serving a mission and the value of football in the LDS Church by commenting:
I think there are a lot of things that you learn that change you as a person. I learned a lot of life lessons. It made me a much better individual, learning life lessons like hard work and persistence and patience and understanding what’s really important in life. Coming back and carrying that over to the football field has helped me have a new perspective on things.
We understand we’re also playing for something a lot bigger than us. It’s not just football. It’s not just us. We’re playing for something bigger than that. It’s something we want to use as a vehicle to get our message out there.