On Wednesday, Dec. 20, Taylor McClure made things official when he signed his letter of intent to play college football for East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. The standout Yellow Jacket had previously verbally committed to Gardner-Webb before rethinking his plans and ultimately becoming a Buccaneer.
On hand for the ceremony were McClure's family, friends, coaches and teammates. One attendee wearing different hats was Hayesville's head football coach Chad McClure, who is also Taylor's dad. The proud pop was all smiles as he commented on his son's big day. "It's a big day as a coach and a dad. It's been a long journey, but I'm super proud of Taylor and the hard work he's put into it. Hard work pays off and this is proof."
As for the man of the hour, he had this to say. "When I visited ETSU, the coaches really made me feel like they believed in me and my potential. I really feel like it's where God wants me to be."
The standout continued, saying, "Coming from a small school and going to D1 is a big jump, but I feel like playing in the Smoky Mountain Conference will be a good foundation. You have to be physical every Friday night which is what it will take on Saturdays."
Taylor said he hopes this signing helps shine a spotlight on the HHS athletic program. "Hopefully, this helps put Hayesville out there as a place to watch. There is so much talent here that could no doubt play at the next level. We just have to get the word out.
Athletic Director Michael Cottrell acknowledged the day as not only important for the McClure family, but also for Hayesville's entire athletic program. "It's always a big deal when we have a student athlete sign to play at the next level. Even more so when we have a player sign on with a D1 school with a full scholarship. This is a big, big day for Hayesville athletics."