Eagle Scout Bowl 2017: BYU vs. LSU game will be a battle of Eagle Scout quarterbacks

This is bigger than Cougars vs. Tigers. This is Eagle Scout vs. Eagle Scout.

When BYU and LSU square off this Saturday in New Orleans, each side will send an Eagle Scout out to take snaps, execute handoffs and hurl passes.

Officially, the game is called the 2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (moved to New Orleans from Houston because of Hurricane Harvey). Unofficially, I’m calling it the 2017 Eagle Scout Bowl.

This likely isn’t the first game in college football history featuring two Eagle Scout quarterbacks. But this is among the higher-profile instances. You’re talking about a nationally televised game between two prominent, consistently high-ranked teams. Check out the 2017 Eagle Scout Bowl at 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday, live on ESPN.

Meet the Eagle Scouts

Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo

BYU’s Tanner Mangum, a junior, became an Eagle Scout in 2008 as a member of Troop 106 of Eagle, Idaho, part of the Ore-Ida Council.

In 2015, Mangum rose to stardom as the orchestrator of two game-winning Hail Marys in back-to-back weeks.

Even more impressive: Mangum had just returned from his LDS mission trip only three months prior. He served in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile, where he and other missionaries performed earthquake and flood relief.

Photo by Chris Parent/LSU Photo

LSU’s Danny Etling, a senior, earned Scouting’s highest honor in 2012 as a member of Troop 17 of Terre Haute, Ind., part of the Crossroads of America Council.

Last year, Etling said Scouting was more than just an after-school activity with friends. The program, he said, made him a better football player and a better person.

Scouting “keeps you humble, keeps you working hard and going towards a goal. I still use the majority of the skills that I learned as a Boy Scout as far as being able to get guys organized, working towards a common goal based on leadership.”



  1. Shouldn’t “Eagle Scouts” be cooperating with each other to solve problems or to serve someone in need rather than “butting heads” in a dangerous game that could create lifelong health issues for all its players? Maybe these young men should visit a few of the many football players who now have concussion-related dementia.

    • Cool thing is, both of these young men have served their communities and will likely continue to do so. If they choose to spend their Saturdays tossing the football around, I’m all for it.

      • In my community, Eagle Scout Matthew Gfeller cannot spend Saturdays “tossing the football around.” He died of a traumatic brain injury during a high school football game in 2008 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His family has raised funds for almost ten years, with much of the money going to research on brain injury at Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. See more information at http://www.matthewgfellerfoundation.org. It would be “cool” if your readers will take time to visit his grave, or maybe that of young men in their communities who were killed “tossing the football around.”

        • More Eagle Scouts are killed in motor vehicle crashes than on the football field. It is statistically more dangerous for Eagle Scouts (and all individuals) to drive to a scout meeting than to play football. Using your logic, scouts should not ride in motor vehicles. Would you eliminate swimming, scuba diving, water skiing, snow skiing, archery, rifle shooting, climbing and dozens of other approved scouting activities because there is a small risk involved? Is your risk management strategy to enclose your scouts in bubble wrap and keep them indoors working on the basketry merit badge? Character building, and life, involves risk. And that risk must be appropriately managed. Both Scouting and organized football (after some hard lessons learned) now do a decent job at risk management. It’s a shame you cast a negative light on two young men of accomplishment whose participation in this football game helps to advance the goals of Scouting, especially when your view is unfounded and rooted solely in emotion.

        • I failed to thank the family and friends of Leo Caldwell, who was killed playing football in Winston-Salem in 1923. The funds raised began the Winston-Salem Foundation’s support of college students and raised the profile of the foundation so that it has been able to hold in trust many properties including our local Scout council’s camp properties since 1923, the same year that football killed young Mr. Caldwell. Using young bodies in games that create unnecessary risk to entertain adults has always been wrong; the emotional and historical pain of these deaths never goes away. Why organize and support a game that, under normal rules and usual operation, results in the deaths of players? Kind and brave Scouts reject such violent exhibition.

    • Seriously, that’s what you got out of this article? Why can’t football be a means to an end for these young men? The education they are receiving and the impact they can have on their local community as a result of being high profile athletes is unmatched.

      You must have missed how JJ Watt just raised over $12 million dollars for Houston/Hurricane Harvey relief. He couldn’t have done that without making his name “butting heads in a dangerous game.”

    • Really??? Are you an Eagle? And what have you accomplished lately that is socially-redeeming? These are boys trying to find their mark in the world… with the strong base of scouting behind them. What they are doing (now!!) is by far more productive to their emerging world than any other youth you can cough up as examples… I support these guys, and expect that in the years to come, they will give back many times over because of their scouting ethic, than you can say you ever did.

      Signed… an Eagle Scout, long time certified leader in the BSA program, and believer in today’s youth.

    • Not gonna whitewash the troublesome lifelong injuries that plague the sport.
      But, football was a great career for one of my family. And, his team was especially gracious to his sister, who outlived him. She would phone in after every game letting them know she thought they did their best and she was praying for them. It doesn’t surprise me that some today’s Eagle Scouts are drawn to the sport.

  2. Hello all… LSU Grad, here…

    … been a Tiger fan since the late 1950’s. Was a scout back then too. My Dad was a huge Tiger fan. Grew up loving the Tigers.

    … seen decades of great players, Many fine young men and women… Danny is one of the best, I’ve ever seen. Here is just one of the many articles, on Danny; which show the long term benefits of a Scouting Life!


    a few quotes of note, from the above article.

    “LSU quarterback Danny Etling has been elected as the Vice-Chair of the Southeastern Conference Football Leadership Council, the league office announced on Thursday.”

    “Etling, a rising senior for the Tigers, joins Kentucky’s Greg Hart, who was selected to serve as Chair for the group, as the two elected leaders of the football council”

    “Hart and Etling were selected by a vote of their peers at a meeting of the Council at SEC headquarters…”

    “These talented young men are proven leaders on the field and among their teammates,” said Misty Brown, SEC Director of Student-Athlete Engagement. “They took special interest to engage in conversation about topics that were important to them. They came prepared and ready to provide feedback on issues related to recruiting, practice and career preparation. We were extremely impressed with our football leadership council”

  3. Not a game I had intended to watch because it is so late but I will now. These two Eagles are spreading their wings and Kenneth should lighten up and let athletes perform at the highest level of their ability without second guessing whether they have considered the possible medical issues associated with the game. Life is full of unintended dangers but each person should be able to decide whether to play or not without being roundly criticized. I look forward to a great match-up of two exceptional quarterbacks, Eagle Scouts and most importantly human beings with the ability to make choices.

  4. All three of my grown sons are Eagle Scouts and are proven leaders with great character atttibutes. They were great boys that grew into great men.

  5. All three of my grown sons are Eagle Scouts with good leadership traits and are successful in all life’s challenges. They were great boys that grew into great men.

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