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February 15, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Heading south

Malakoff’s Tate Taylor signs letter of intent with Southwestern University

MALAKOFF — Malakoff senior signal caller Tate Taylor now has a college home this fall.

After a season in which the Tigers’ made it to the Region II-2A Division I area round contest and with Taylor being named All-Henderson County MVP, Taylor has signed a college level of intent with the Southwestern University Pirates.

“He was very excited and impressed with that recognition,” Taylor said of the All-HC nomination.

“It didn't hurt and we had been watching him since he was a junior,” Pirates coach Joe Austin said. “We first saw him at linebacker and then at quarterback.”

The Pirates reinstated their football program after a 62-year hiatus and Taylor said that was one of the things that interested him in the program.

“I think it took the perfect storm for us to get athletics back,” Austin said. “It was the fact that we are in a position to expand our enrollment and we had some major donors that put up six million dollars for the athletic program.”

Taylor said he was intrigued with being a part of a new system under coach Austin.

“The idea of getting to start something new and being a part of that was one of the things that drew me to the school.”

Taylor said one of the big adjustments he will have to make from the high school game to the college game will be the speed.

“Mainly the speed change with the defensive player’s that I will be playing against,” Taylor said. “I think that will be a big obstacle. I think that will be something that I will have to work on at the next level.”

Austin had some words of encouragement for Taylor.

“I want to encourage him to play his style of football,” Austin said. “He needs to play to his strength and he will pick up the plays quickly. “

He is one of only six quarterbacks to ever win a playoff game in Tigers’ history.

Taylor guided the Tigers’ to a 28-22 bi-district win over Redwater in bi-district which gave Malakoff playoff wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history.

Taylor said Austin is running an offense he has been used to in the spread offense.

“He really likes me at quarterback and that is what I want to strive to be is the starting quarterback at Southwestern,” Taylor said.

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