Going into his junior season, the University of Central Arkansas’ Taylor Reed is still afloat after a series of coaching tsunamis.
His head is still spinning from a three-year ride while clinging to the rapidly churning coaching carousel.
The UCA quarterback and former El Dorado star will quickly spout out some of the weirdest three-year statistics in college football: He’s had six head coaches, six offensive coordinators, five strength and conditioning coaches.
That’s two head coaches and offensive coordinators each at the University of Memphis, the University of Arkansas and UCA.
“It’ been different every semester; I haven’t been in the same system two straight semesters,” he says, chuckling.
He understands the business. He’s from a line of coaches, including his father, El Dorado coach Scott Reed.
For the first time this season, he has the same quarterback coach — new UCA offensive coordinator Nathan Brown.
He has bought into head coach Steve Campbell’s up-tempo system, his sixth.
“I like it,” he said. “It fits me well. We play fast and we can have some explosive plays. There could be an explosive play any moment. We want to play as fast as possible. As soon as the referee sets to ball, we want to go. And every play has two or three reads”
“Taylor is playing with a lot of confidence considering what he has been through in his career,” Brown said. “You want your quarterback to be a coach on the field and both Ryan and Taylor are.”
He and Ryan Howard, like they did last season after Wynrick Smothers sustained a season-ending injury, are rotating with the first team.
“I think we bring out the best in each other,” Reed said.
Both are left-handed. Both are sons of coaches.
“It’s interesting,” he said. “And we both want to be coaches someday. We like the film work. Game-planning is fun.”
The two are not alone in the UCA quarterback picture. Redshirt freshman Hayden Hildebrand has had an outstanding preseason camp and is getting better every practice.
“I think we have three quarterbacks we can win a championship with,” said Brown. “I don’t look at it as 1, 2 and 3. It’s more like 1A, 1B and 1C. A lot of programs would like to have either one.”
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 5010-505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dmaclcd)