Small school, big talent
Getting to know Cumby QB Travis Taylor, a potential small-school star.
If you haven’t heard of Travis Taylor, don’t worry: you’re not alone. But with any luck, Taylor plans on letting everyone know who he is very soon.
After a 2-8 season in 2013, the Cumby Trojans are looking to be competitive in District 9-2A DI, and Taylor, their junior quarterback, is a big reason why.
“He can sling it. He could step in and throw it with anyone at the college level,” head coach Tom Dracos said. “Our year is going to be dependent on him. He’s a difference maker.”
In 2013, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Taylor completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 980 yards, adding another 875 yards on the ground. Good numbers, yes, but Taylor also faces an uphill battle.
For one: Cumby is small – enrollment: 107. For another, Cumby hasn’t been very good – before 2011’s 6-5 season, the Trojans last had a winning season in 1979.
But coach Dracos said that shouldn’t matter, describing Taylor as elusive and quick with good vision and a cannon for an arm.
“Once I saw his ability and the throws he made as a sophomore I knew that God had truly blessed him,” Dracos said.
Taylor was voted as Newcomer of the Year his freshman season, but his football story begins earlier than that. Taylor said when he played Pee Wee football he played both quarterback and defensive back but enjoyed quarterback the most.
“I liked hitting people on defense, but I got to run around on offense,” he said.
Once he got to Cumby, Taylor said a discussion with Coach Dracos led him to have a work-comes-first mentality.
“He comes to school and works out before school and is on the A-B Honor Roll,” Dracos said.
Although Taylor put up good numbers on the small school stage this past season, he hasn’t been heavily recruited. Dracos said that to get a recruiter to watch the game film is the biggest challenge they face on the small-school level.
“He plays basketball and baseball, which waters down the talent level because kids do so much,” Dracos said.
But Taylor said he wouldn’t trade the Class 2A setting for more exposure.
“I like knowing the team and everyone at school and how they support us,” he said.
Taylor said his goals for the upcoming season are to throw the ball more and complete more short passes. Dracos said unlike last season, Taylor won’t play on defense until the team is playing meaningful games.
“With only 32 students in athletics at Cumby losing three or four players to injury changes the depth of the roster.”
Dracos said that if he asked Taylor to play left guard for a game he’d go out and do it.
“He’s matured a lot from his sophomore year to his junior year,” Dracos said. “It’s been fun to watch.”
Alex Gustafson is a special contributor to TexasFootball.com.
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