Taylor Barton is a coach’s kind of player. It’s not because he’s a standout player, which he is. It’s not because he’s a big “rah-rah” leader of the Lake Highland Prep football team, which he isn’t.
What coach Tim Borcky might like most about quiet, lead-by example Taylor Barton, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound athlete, is that he listens.
You can try to coach learning and listening, but it’s not easy. If, however, you have a player who will listen, then that player can also learn.
Listening to Borcky is what helped Barton get through a period when some of his rising-senior teammates were getting scholarship offers … and he was not.
“Not really [worried],” Barton said of receiving college scholarship offers, “because Coach Borcky kept saying, ‘Just wait until spring. Coaches come through here and get to watch you,’ and so I knew something would happen.”
And it did. Following the Highlanders spring-game blowout of Clermont East Ridge, Barton finally got his first offer last week from Syracuse. Then Tuesday, Illinois came knocking with his second BCS scholarship offer.
“That first one was good because Coach Borcky has a good relationship with Syracuse and we had [Zach McCarrell] go up there last year, so that kinda helps,” Barton said. “I like both of them, as far as Syracuse, I know quite a bit about them, and as for Illinois, I know Ron Zook is doing good things.”
Barton plays safety, linebacker, wide receiver and sometimes returns kicks for Lake Highland. College coaches, however, have zeroed in on the safety position for Barton’s future.
“They are looking at me mainly for defense, safety or walk down to the strong safety/outside linebacker spot,” said Barton, who has clocked a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. “I play whatever Coach Borcky says right now. If that’s what helps the team out then that’s what I’ll do.”
Barton has a busy summer schedule lined up and it starts off next week with a trip planned for a four-school stop for camps at South Carolina, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke. He will then return for one of Florida State’s camps in Tallahassee. His team is also slated for the USF Sling ‘n’ Shoot II 7-on-7 tournament on the weekend of July 23-24.
Of course, Barton, like any other college prospect, is hoping to see a lot more offers so he’ll have some options to sift through.
“We’ll see what happens this summer and see what everybody thinks after that,” Barton said. “Hopefully these two offers will help bring in some other ones.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.