Growing up in Mesa, Ariz., Brigham Young quarterback Max Hall didn’t need to look far for quarterback advice. Nearby lived Hall’s uncle, Danny White, who about the time Hall was born was winding down his standout career as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. "My uncle Danny was very good to me,” Hall told The Oklahoman during a phone interview. "He never intruded, but at the same time, he was always there if I had questions. He watched game film with me. "He was the guy I tried to model my game after.” Ironically enough, Hall will travel to the town his uncle starred in as BYU and Oklahoma will christen the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday in the season opener for both schools. Hall, one of the best quarterbacks in the nation who threw for 35 touchdowns and almost 4,000 yards last season, is No. 20 BYU’s best chance of pulling the upset over the third-ranked Sooners. "I’m pretty sure he’s going to be there,” Hall said of White. "It’s going to be special to represent my family in that setting.” But while Hall has modeled his style of play after his uncle, he ultimately had to create his own path. As a kid, Hall didn’t cheer for BYU, despite being a member of the Mormon faith. Instead, his team was Arizona State, where his uncle was an All-American in 1973. "I grew up an ASU fan,” Hall said. "I went to all the home games. I wanted to go there.” So Hall spurned an offer from BYU, and signed with the Sun Devils in 2004. But soon, Hall realized ASU, which had just been recognized by Playboy Magazine as the top party school in the nation, wasn’t the place for him. "ASU was a great place. Great football program,” Hall said. "But I wanted to represent my faith the best I could.” So after redshirting his freshman season, Hall dropped out of ASU and went on a Mormon mission in Des Moines, Iowa. A year later, he enrolled at BYU and joined the Cougar football team. "BYU is different than any institution in the world,” Hall said. "Here, I get to speak at firesides, be an example and a role model. This place has given me more.” On the field, Hall has returned the favor. In two seasons, he has thrown for 61 touchdowns and 7,805 yards. After a hot start to last season, Hall was even considered a Heisman candidate. But for BYU to have a chance against OU, Hall will have to play better than he has in past big games, something that also plagued White, who despite being 62-30 as a starter could never get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl. Last season against TCU and Utah, BYU’s only two ranked opponents, Hall committed 10 turnovers and threw no touchdowns, the main reason he fell out of the Heisman race. "In those games, I wanted to win so bad,” Hall said. "I think I tried to put the whole game on my shoulders, which caused me to make mistakes. I’ve learned that I have a great team around me and I can trust those guys to do their jobs. "I don’t need to try and take over the game for us to win.”
Max Hall→ Position: QB →Height: 6-1 →→Weight: 201 →Year: Senior →Age: 23 →Jersey number: 15 →Hometown: Mesa, Ariz. →Stats: Threw for 3,957 yards and 35 TDs to just 14 INTs last season; ranked No. 13 nationally in QB rating.