Three things BYU football can do to honor LaVell Edwards in 2017

BYU football legend LaVell Edwards sadly passed away in late December. Here are the best ways BYU can honor the greatest coach in school history.

LaVell Edwards revolutionized BYU football, turning the Cougars into a national powerhouse. His passing was heartbreaking news to every BYU football fan.

But, as they say, legends never die.

With about nine months until the Cougars kickoff their 2017 season, BYU has plenty of time to work some things out to honor the late legend.

Here are three of my favorites.

Helmet decal or jersey patch

This one is the easiest to accomplish. Many college and NFL teams have used jersey patches or helmet decals to commemorate certain events or players. BYU’s jerseys already have an open area where… well… a conference affiliation patch would be, so that spacing works out well.

Or, the Cougars could do what the Chicago Bears did. To honor George Halas, the Bears unveiled “GSH” patches on the jersey sleeves.

I would prefer a “LE” patch or a “LaVell” patch on the upper chest, but I think the sleeve look would be nice too.

Then there’s the option of a helmet decal. The last time BYU football sported an extra decal was in the Poinsettia Bowl, when the Cougars (and the Utah Utes) wore Elsie Mahe/Hayes Tough decals.

These decals were universally well received – and for good reason. They also give a pretty good estimate on how big a decal could be on the helmet. Overall, I think I prefer this option to the jersey addition, but either of these would be a great way to keep LaVell Edwards in the hearts and minds of every BYU football player and every BYU football fan.

Build a statue

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The man needs a statue outside of his stadium. It’s that simple.

Great coaches all around the nation have been immortalized on their campuses. Bear Bryant and Nick Saban have statues at Alabama. Knute Rockne has a statue at Notre Dame. Bobby Bowden can still be seen in bronze on the campus of Florida State. Tom Osborne at Nebraska, Robert Neyland at Tennessee – the list goes on and on.

LaVell Edwards isn’t just a great BYU football coach, he’s one of the best collegiate football coaches in history. He’s No. 7 on the all-time NCAA wins list. He deserves this honor.

Imagine an eight-foot, 2,000-pound bronze statue next to the Cougar statue. How glorious would that be?

Not to mention, Edwards’ contributions go way beyond BYU football. Edwards’ lifetime of service with his wife, Patti, changed Provo and Utah County for the better. I can think of no more deserving of a statue than Edwards.

Win

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The best way to honor LaVell Edwards is to do what he did so frequently – win.

Edwards compiled 257 wins in Provo, captured the 1984 National Championship, and won seven bowl games with the Cougars. He averaged about nine wins per season as head coach and while helmet decals and jersey patches are a lovely touch, wins last in the history books forever.

Kalani Sitake went 9-4 in his first year, so he’s off to a good start. With the (albeit slight) possibility of the Cougars going 10-3 next season, I think it’s safe to say that Edwards would approve of those results, especially considering he only won 12 games in his first two years.

Honorable Mention: Bring back the royal blue

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

BYU football and royal blue are synonymous. The Cougars had their most successful seasons in royal blue – and Edwards was at the helm of it all.

One of BYU football’s most successful seasons came 20 years ago, as Edwards led the Cougars to 14 wins and a Cotton Bowl victory on New Year’s Day in 1997. It was arguably the best team in BYU football history.

What better way to honor LaVell – and the 1996-97 Cougars – than by switching back to the old colors?

The trouble with this is that BYU would then have to change colors throughout the rest of campus. There’s an awful lot of navy around campus, and that quickly gets expensive to change. Ultimately, I think that’s why BYU adopted royal blue as an official secondary color. But still, a guy can dream right?

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Rest in peace, Coach Edwards. You’re sorely missed by all. Thank you for your example on and off the field.

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