Riverdale coaches have confident that quarterback Greg Taylor can help lead the team back into the postseason. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
RIVERDALE — Greg Taylor could always tell that something was missing in his football life.
This summer, he finally figured out the missing element. Throughout his career, Taylor never had the benefit of working with a position coach.
But all of that changed when Terry Herrod was hired this past spring as the next Riverdale football coach. He hired Cecil Lester, a former college quarterback, to work with his quarterbacks this season.
Taylor said that has been beneficial to his development.
“I’m very pleased at the season right now,” Taylor said. “I’m finally getting to work with a quarterback coach, and that has been great. With his experience, I’m getting more knowledge about the game.”
And it has shown on the field. In four games, Taylor has passed for 817 yards and eight touchdowns with only one interception. He has completed 54 of 102 passes heading into tonight’s game at Eagle’s Landing High.
“He is where we thought he should be at this point in the season,” Riverdale offensive coordinator Terrone Owens said. “He is becoming more of a leader, and he is showing some good decision making skills. In the leadership department, he usually gets all the guys ready to play.”
As strong of a season as the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder is having, he is still disappointed that he hasn’t gotten his first college offer. Several schools, including Gardner-Webb, Alabama State, Mercer, Jacksonville State and Georgia State, are beginning to show interest. Taylor sports a 3.3 grade-point average and has taken several Advanced Placement course at Riverdale.
“He is going to be a good pickup for someone,” Owens said.
“It’s going to come (scholarships),” Taylor said. “I’ve been working hard. I’m just going to leave it in God’s hand. I’m just going out having fun. I know it will come.”
Although Riverdale had to make a coaching change when Olten Downs left at the beginning of the year for the Creekside job, Herrod kept most of the offense in place.
It has proven to be a benefit for Taylor.
“We just tweaked a few things, but the majority of the offense is the same,” Owens said. “He is a very intelligent kid, who picks up on things real quick. I’m not surprised that he is doing well.”
Riverdale is 2-2 overall and 1-0 on the Div. B side of Region 4-AAAA. After tonight’s game against Eagle’s Landing, the Raiders jump back into their subregion schedule.
A six-game starter last season, Taylor is hoping to lead the Raiders back to the playoffs. Riverdale hasn’t had consecutive playoff appearances since the 2004 and ’05 seasons.
After starting the season with back-to-back wins over rivals North Clayton and Drew, the Raiders have dropped games to Grady and Dutchtown.
Only the North Clayton game counts in the subregion standings.
“We feel real confident in Greg,” Herrod said. “He has been a leader on this team.”