By Ray Hamill — Fortuna senior Daeden Taylor has found what could be a perfect fit for his talents, after verbally committing to play football at Feather River College after graduation.
Taylor, a two-year varsity player with the Huskies and the team’s starting quarterback this past fall, is the sort of dual threat player the Golden Eagles are looking for at the position.
“Our offense is quarterback driven,” FR head coach Nick Goulet said. “We need a mobile quarterback and we need a guy who can run.”
And that’s exactly what Taylor is expected to bring to the team.
“(Fortuna’s) offense ran the ball a lot and asked him to carry a share of that load,” Goulet said. “We watched him on film and he made some big plays with his feet, and I liked what I saw.”
According to Feather River school records, Taylor is the first H-DNL player to join the program in at least eight years, and he does so right as they make the switch from the very competitive National NorCal Conference to the American Pacific-7 Conference, where College of the Redwoods plays.
And the outgoing Fortuna senior is looking forward to the opportunity.
“I’m just excited to go over there and compete and get to work, especially with what’s going on right now,” he said. “I just want to focus on football and work and develop as a player.”
Taylor may have to be patient making the leap to the collegiate game, on a Feather River team that is expected to step in and immediately be competitive in the new conference.
In Goulet’s three years in charge, the Golden Eagles have been building momentum and have lost 10 games by one score or less while competing in one of the top conferences in the state.
“We tell every recruit you’re going to get the opportunity to come in and compete,” the head coach said. “But at every starting position it’s really difficult as a freshman.
“We’re really excited about Daeden and think he can really blossom here.”
Taylor, who is considering majoring in Business but added that could change, liked what he saw from the Feather River coaches, a factor that swayed his decision to commit to play there.
“It was kind of late in the process and I had emailed a bunch of smaller schools, and I got a few responses, but (Goulet) seemed to show the most interest,” the Fortuna senior said. “I’ve always wanted to play football in college. I figured it would help me in school.”
During his time at Fortuna, the playmaking QB enjoyed plenty of success with the team, including an NCS championship in 2018, but it is the friendships he made that he will remember as much as anything.
“I’ll remember looking forward at the end of every school day to going to practice and spending time with my friends and making memories,” he said.
The offseason program at Fortuna also helped prepare him for the jump to the college game.
“The summer workouts, they pushed us hard,” he said. “The coaches always say your season starts in January. And that commitment and mindset of going to work every day will help push me at the next level.”
Taylor added he would definitely consider playing football at a four-year school after his time at Feather River.
Last season’s starting QB for the Golden Eagles, Jalen Dummett, recently received a scholarship to play at the Division-I level in Texas.