As soon as Army offered Taylor High’s Casey Shorter on June 5, it didn’t take long for the power running back to commit himself to the black and gold.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pounder had done his research on Army ever since the Black Knights had contacted him on February 4. Then came the official full-ride offer. Fourteen days later, on June 19, Shorter declared the program his future home.
“I know it is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Shorter said. “One of the top academic schools, a guaranteed job when graduating, and I know they have an offense that I fit into perfectly.”
Former Taylor High star and SMU standout Rodney Clemons was signed by the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent late Saturday evening.
The 6-foot, 209-pound safety was projected to go anywhere from the fifth round to undrafted during this weekend’s NFL Draft. Clemons had a strong 2019 senior season for the 10-3 Mustangs as a team captain, compiling 78 total tackles and a team-high four interceptions and nine pass breakups. But his 4.71 40-yard dash time at February’s NFL Scouting Combine, to go with questions about his quickness and instincts, hampered his chances of being drafted.
Clemons joins a Chiefs team that returns 20 of 22 starters. Returning veterans at safety are Daniel Sorensen and Armani Watts at free safety and Tyrann Mathieu at strong safety. In this year’s draft, Kansas City selected a running back, linebacker, cornerback, defensive end and cornerback. The Chiefs added five more defensive backs in free agency, including Clemons. Three of those were cornerbacks.
Prior to the draft, Clemons said earlier this week in a feature story on 281SportsUnlimited that he desired a situation where he could compete for a starting position and have the chance to play right away.
During his first spring football practice as head coach of Taylor High in 2014, Trey Herrmann remembers hearing an abrasive crunch of physical contact.
“I didn’t see the hit,” Herrmann recalled six years later. “I heard it.”
Herrmann turned around to see then-junior Rodney Clemons getting back up off the running back.
“I said, ‘Yep, I was right,’” Herrmann said. “‘That’s my starting safety right there.’”
Just a couple of months before, Herrmann had convinced Clemons, frustrated and done with football after two years of hardly seeing the field, to not hang up the cleats just yet.
“I was at a junior varsity basketball game, sitting next to (then-school principal) Mr. (Jeff) Stocks, and I saw Rodney,” Herrmann said. “Just the way he moved on the floor, as far as his footwork and ability to be around the ball at all times. I asked Mr. Stocks, ‘Hey, who’s that kid?’ ‘That’s Rodney Clemons.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s my starting safety right there.’ He just had all the attributes I look for in a safety.”
So goes the beginning of a wonderous story for Clemons, a 6-foot, 209-pound safety out of SMU who is expected to go anywhere in the fifth through seventh rounds of the NFL Draft this weekend. The draft, which will be held over three days, will be aired on ESPN. Round one will be held Thursday, rounds two and three on Friday, and the last four rounds on Saturday.
A little more than a week ago, Devon Carrillo realized she could play a significant role helping others during this crucial time of need.
With healthcare face masks at a premium due to precautions for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, the Taylor High sophomore varsity volleyball player knew she could make a difference.
“I really thought, ‘Oh, well I can make masks and I have materials at home I can use,’” Carrillo, 16, said. “It started from there. A lot of people ended up seeing them and posting about it, so then I ended up just making them for basically anyone who wanted one.”