After the completion of the first brother-to-brother touchdown pass in BYU football history, Cougar freshman quarterback Baylor Romney said his way to celebrate with his younger brother Gunner Romney was to “just tackle him on the sideline.”
So what was Gunner Romney’s assessment of his brother’s tackling ability?
“He should stay at quarterback, for sure,” Gunner Romney said with a grin during Monday’s press conference. “Defense isn’t really his thing.”
The Romney family as been able to enjoy some special times during the 2019 season as both freshman quarterback Baylor Romney (the older brother) and sophomore wide receiver Gunner Romney (the younger brother) have played key roles for the Cougars.
“It’s been awesome being able to go through this with my family,” Gunner Romney said. “It’s not just my brother (Baylor); it’s my whole family being proud of us. I’ll get four or five different calls every day from family members saying how cool it is and how much fun they’re having watching us play on Saturdays. It’s been really cool.”
The two brothers have their own unique skillsets but are pretty similar in many ways.
“Everyone in the locker room always jokes about how we are the same person,” Gunner Romney said. “As weird as it may sound, I think he may even be a little more quiet than I am, which is kind of hard.”
Both athletes have let their play on the field do the talking.
Baylor Romney has gone 31-of-52 passing for 485 yards with four touchdowns and one interceptions in seeing action in three games, two of which were regional rivalry wins over Boise State and Utah State.
Gunner Romney has tallied 21 receptions for 263 yards with one touchdown in eight games, but has also made some key blocks downfield to help the BYU offense get big plays.
Even with all the success, it’s hard to argue the fact that the most memorable was the 1-yard wide-receiver screen touchdown in Logan on Saturday.
“We’ve been practicing that play for months, since the beginning of fall camp,” Gunner Romney said. “This was the best it ever worked, better than it ever worked against the scout team in practice. As soon as we got out there and saw the defensive look, it was man-to-man so we knew it was going to work. Talon Shumway made a great block and pretty much sealed to guys off.”
Baylor Romney said he didn’t even know who the play was going to until the team was lined up.
“It was pretty incredible,” Baylor Romney said. “I wasn’t even aware that it was him until I sent him in motion. I saw it was it was him and knew it was going to be a pretty special moment.”
In some ways it was a fitting payoff for a quarterback who isn’t on scholarship and has dealt with plenty of challenges, but who also has become a huge contributor for the Cougars.
“It’s hard being a walk-on,” Gunner Romney said. “You have to through the time we have for practice and stuff. It’s been hard on him but he has handled it extremely well. He’s a hard worker.”
Gunner Romney attributed some of Baylor Romney’s success to his level-headed mentality.
“He got out there and it was like he was just throwing it around with nobody watching,” Gunner Romney said. “It shows that he is an even-keel guy. Nothing really gets to him or affects him. It’s been huge. When he gets thrown into the moment like he has been, he can handle it. When his name isn’t called on the sideline, he doesn’t get too down on himself. He has that same mentality through the whole thing without getting too up or too down.”
BYU freshman quarterback Jaren Hall won the starting job for the Utah State game but Baylor Romney said he knew he had to be locked in.
“They told me all week to be ready to go in,” Baylor Romney said. “I was prepared when I was told. Right before the half, Coach Jeff Grimes came up and asked me if I was ready and I told him I was. I knew at that point.”
The opening possession of the third quarter was a big one, since the Cougars only led by a single touchdown at the break.
“The first drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half are always big,” Baylor Romney said. “They are always statements. We knew we needed to go down and score on that drive. There were some big plays by a lot of guys on that drive that helped us put it in.”
That was just the beginning as the Romney-led BYU offense continued to have success and put the game away.
“It’s been really cool to finally see the production come out like that,” Gunner Romney said. “It was a great game for us all-around, rushing game, passing game, just all around. I think it really helped build the confidence of the offense. Going through the next few weeks, we’re going to try and play off that and try to replicate what we did.”
As well as the Cougars played in defeating the Aggies, Baylor Romney was quick to emphasize that the team has to keep progressing.
“It’s one week at a time,” Baylor Romney said. “We need to make the most of every practice and execute like we did (Saturday night). I feel like we know what we are capable of now moving forward. We’ve just got to keep doing what we are doing.”