Kaden Taylor Sets The Tone On Both Sides For The Grand Lake Hornets

Playing two of the hardest positions in the game and two positions that requires a lot of leadership and communication, Kaden Taylor from Grand Lake High School has to set the tone for his high school football team in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“My knowledge of the game, my ability when a play breaks down, I stay calm under pressure, and my dedication to the game.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

At 6’0, 200 pounds with a 3.7 GPA and a 20 ACT score, Taylor plays both ways for the Hornets at both quarterback and linebacker. For the two way player, it takes a whole lot to play and excel at both positions, but at the same time, those position allows him to increase his football IQ on the playing field and stay ahead of his competition.

“The positions are opposite of each other so at quarterback, I know what a linebacker would do in a situation and while playing linebacker, I can figure out what the quarterback is going to do.”

Grand Lake 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor
Grand Lake QB/LB Kaden Taylor (4) and FB Ian Vigo (7) (Photo taken by Karl Gillard Photography)

Having past experience under center has allowed Taylor to be one of the top defensive players in his area. Last season, Taylor was a tackling machine, which includes 102 total tackles, 8 TFLs, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 2 INTs, & 2 Pick 6’s. The All-District selection was all over the field last season as a defensive end and did so in some of the team’s biggest games including their first round playoff matchup against LaSalle in which he had 14 tackles, an 80 yard interception return for a touchdown, and a 65 yard kickoff return.

While also earning a couple of defensive player of the weeks in the process, his success on the football field has started to attract some college looks including a college offer.

“Lyon offered me this summer. I’ve talked to Louisiana Christian a lot. Coach Feaster over there has been amazing to me. I just scheduled to go up there on September 9th. I plan to go to Harding, Northwestern, Faulkner, Howard Payne, ETBU, and right down the road to McNeese. Everywhere I’ve went has been special and made it feel like home the whole time I was up there.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

Taylor also added that Harding, Northwestern, and ULM would all be dream schools for him to play football, and getting even more eyes on him at quarterback could help that as this season, he will be the full-time starter after playing sparingly under center the previous three years.

“I learned so much from Connor Guillote backing him up the past few years. He’s been a great role model because we have been through multiple offenses and he’s showed me the ropes in each one so I’m excited to use what I’ve learned from him, and we brought in Coach Austin Pickle, who ran this offense and won a state championship with it, but the best part is returning Brycen, Brent, and Ian in the backfield and having Zayne and Wyatt running the offensive line. I have a lot of talent around me so it makes my job easier. I’m glad I finally get to be apart of this backfield because I feel like we can keep the defense on their toes with two really good slots and a dominant dive back along with myself.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

Kaden Taylor gets his high football IQ from his dad Billy Taylor, who has played a big part in Grand Lake’s recent success in starting the Junior Hornets program.

“His junior Hornets program has been incredible. We actually won the Super Bowl when we were 9-10 years old so that’s the junior and senior class that won that. He’s really done a lot for this program and couldn’t be happier to call him dad.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

Over the offseason, Taylor has not just worked on his football IQ, but he has worked on other aspects of his game in order to make his game even more well rounded.

“On the offensive side, I’ve taken time studying reads and throwing the ball, and on defense, I’ve practiced covering routes and reading pulls trying to find things pre-snap to have myself in the right place.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

Since this will be his first full year as the starting quarterback, Taylor has looked to one of the NFL’s very best as inspiration.

“I think Josh Allen is one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the NFL. You never know what he’s gonna do so I like to model myself after him.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

Taylor has shown that he can be a versatile athlete as well as he has played quarterback, safety, defensive end, and now linebacker over his career. Besides playing both ways on the football team, he is also a great baseball player for the Hornets as well. Playing the game of football has helped him have a short memory, which is crucial to have for all quarterbacks.

“Baseball teaches you that you gotta forget about the last play and focus on the next. If I get wrung up on a fastball outside, I have to put that behind me and go play middle infield or pitch, and I can’t let that at bat mess with me or if I miss a routine ball, I can’t let that control my at bat or the rest of the game. So in football, if I throw an interception or miss a tackle, I’m not worried about it because baseball has taught me to just forget.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor
Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor (Photo taken by Andy Bryson)

Although Taylor has a short memory, he does see the bigger picture.

“I’m one of the leaders of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at my school so no matter how my football career goes, I know that I’ve got a bigger plan out there so the end isn’t when I hang up the cleats and I have peace in knowing that.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

After his senior season is over, he will have another opportunity to show off his skills at the 2023 Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game.

“I feel proud that my hard work finally paid off. It was definitely a dream come true.”

Grand Lake 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor

Before that happens, Kaden Taylor wants to accomplish another dream and that is end his high school career with a state championship. When he was a freshman, the Hornets made the state championship game, but had to play in Natchitoches because of COVID. This year, he wants the opportunity to lead his team to the Superdome.

“We’ve all dreamed about playing in the Dome forever and we kind of feel snubbed because the year we made it to state, we didn’t go to the Dome so getting there and playing on that field would be a lifetime accomplishment.”

Grand Lake High School 2024 QB/LB Kaden Taylor
Grand Lake QB/LB Kaden Taylor drops back to throw during a game. (Photo taken by Karl Gillard Photography)
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