Headed to the next level

Sylacauga’s Qua Taylor will play football for Huntingdon College next fall. Taylor earned the opportunity through hard work on the field and in the classroom.

SYLACAUGA -- Sylacauga High School senior Qua Taylor signed a letter-of-intent to play football at Huntingdon College.

The signing took place during a ceremony in the school’s media center Tuesday.

Taylor said he went to a showcase at LaGrange College (Georgia) and was invited to visit Faulkner University before he chose to sign with the Hawks.

“It’s not that far from home, and I’ve been on the campus a couple times,” Taylor said. “Every time I met the coaches, it feels like more of a regular (atmosphere), more like how Coach Griff (Sylacauga head coach Matt Griffith) is. It was basically like home for me.”

During his time as an Aggie, Taylor played football, basketball and soccer. He reminisced about his favorite moments in each sport.

“Soccer, I’d say my goal against Childersburg -- backside upper 90,” Taylor said. “Basketball, in my senior year, I had a dunk against Munford. In football against Mortimer Jordan, I really showed how dominant a wide receiver I could be.”

At Huntingdon, Taylor said he’ll play wide receiver and defensive back.

Sylacauga head coach Matt Griffith said Taylor set himself up for his opportunity by excelling in the classroom as well as on the field.

“(Division) III schools do not give … athletic scholarships,” Griffith said. “DIII schools base everything on academics, and they recruit very gifted athletes who have high test scores and very good grade-point averages.

“Qua is a very good athlete in multiple sports who gave himself an opportunity to go play at the next level because he did what he should do in the classroom and he did what he should do on his ACT score.”

Griffith said Huntingdon has become a nice fit for many Aggies who have preceded Taylor.

“The one thing Huntingdon always tells us is they really like getting a kid from Sylacauga High School because that kid knows how to work,” Griffith said. “They know how to work in the weight room and they know how to take very old-school, hard coaching.

“Most of our kids who go down there stay for four or 4 ½ years and get degrees, and that’s important to Huntingdon College. We’re very proud of our relationship with Huntingdon College at our high school.”

He added Taylor gives Huntingdon a player who can contribute in a variety of areas.

“Qua’s a multiple guy,” Griffith said. “Qua played receiver for us, and he probably could have played some DB or ran some kickoffs back. He’s a good skill kid.

“The big thing with Qua is he brings a good attitude to practice every day. … Kids feed of Qua because he’s in a good mood, and he’s always happy to play ball.

“Qua has been through a lot of things in his life, and he’s overcome a lot to get to where he needs to be. We’re very proud of him.”

Taylor said having familiarity with members of the Hawks roster, particularly his former Aggies teammates, will help his transition to college.

“I met a lot of the soccer players and I know a lot of the football players,” he said. “It’s basically just like meeting your older brothers again.”

Taylor said he plans to major in physical therapy and minor in physical training.