There is perhaps no better indicator of the type of player Demontrie Taylor is than watching him on Guyer’s kickoff coverage team.
Several times per game, Taylor lines up near the kicker, gets a running start and wreaks havoc on anyone in his way en route to the ball carrier.
Taylor, an undersized linebacker who plays with unmatched ferocity and a nonstop motor, has 38 tackles this season, is second on the team with 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and leads the team with four sacks.
His style of play is being rewarded, as Taylor committed to play college football at Colorado State on Thursday, choosing the Rams over an offer from New Mexico State and strong interest from New Mexico.
Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day a 2014 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 5.
“I just researched a lot to make my decision,” Taylor said. “They really have a good future and a good history, too. Their new coach has done successful things, so I thought it’d be the best thing for me.”
At Taylor’s size (5-10 and 190 pounds), he wasn’t going to be getting many offers as a traditional linebacker, but the Rams’ system seemed like a perfect fit for his future.
“Everyone who watches film on Demontrie, from the Top 25 [college teams] on down, loves him because he’s a sure tackler, he’s a violent football player, and when you have that you get guys that make game-changing plays,” Guyer coach John Walsh said. “He can swing momentum in your direction, so I’m not surprised he had Division I offers, and I’m sure excited for him.”
Taylor’s violence on the field is something Walsh said every one of Guyer’s opponents notices in a hurry.
“He knows on a kickoff it’s about field position, and he understands he’s getting a good running start to make a statement for our whole team,” Walsh said. “He’s kind of become that guy that wants to let everyone know how we’re going to play and how it’s going to go down. He’s done that early on in all five of our games this year.”
Colorado State employs a roving safety/linebacker hybrid, and that’s the role Taylor was recruited to fill.
The prospect of running in free space and not having to worry about banging heads with big offensive linemen on every snap has Taylor smiling.
“They’re going to move me around from linebacker to safety and back — all over the place,” Taylor said. “Wherever I am, it’s just me coming downhill at full speed, and that’s fine by me. Not having to go through a lineman? I’m perfect with that.”
Walsh said Taylor’s ability to stay with running backs in the open field, his footwork and his hips that resemble a defensive back more than a linebacker made him an appealing option to several college coaches.
“He needs to be in space,” Walsh said. “In that 4-2-5 defense, that fifth guy out there is the perfect spot for him. It plays to his talents. He plays great in space, and he’s not going to get beat by a running back in space. I think he’ll flourish just fine out there playing that position.”
Taylor said he’s just happy to have a college football future cemented so he can focus on helping Guyer repeat as Class 4A Division I state champion in December.
“It’s a good feeling,” Taylor said. “That’s a full ride. It’s definitely taking some stress off me. Now I know I have something after high school, so I can just focus on football now.”