Shumway turns focus towards basketball

BYU wide receiver recruit Talon Shumway just finished up his senior season of high school football, and has now switched gears from football to basketball. The future Cougar pass-catcher happens to be a part of a basketball team considered one of the best – if not the best – in Utah prep history.

Talon Shumway (6 feet 3 inches, 190 pounds) is considered the top wide receiver in the state of Utah.

"I think the biggest thing for me is that I've stayed healthy all year. Last year I wasn't healthy at all," Shumway said. "This year, you know, being a senior I had a bigger role, but I kind of came away from the season a little disappointed with how things turned out. I felt I could have had a bigger impact, but I don't know if I had the opportunity to do it.

"I didn't really end up playing defense. I just wanted to focus on the offensive side of the game. It's not like I'm trying to get into college now, but I wanted to play as best as I could with my teammates."

Shumway managed to put up some very good numbers, although he didn't quite manage to meet his personal expectations.

"I hoped to get the ball a little more this season, but I think I ended up with around 75 catches on the season and 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns," said Shumway. "I did alright, but when I think about it, I could have been used a little more. I could have done a lot better, but I had some success."

Considering that his stats were very good despite not being used as much as he could have been, it begs the question of what Shumway's potential is.

"I'm still learning and really I haven't had much coaching," Shumway said. "The only coaching that I've had is just the little things I've taken from Coach Cahoon at BYU. I've talked to him and been around them and just tried to learn things on my own. I have a long ways to go and this was really my first year playing wide receiver. I think I improved but still have a long ways to go.

"Like last year I played slot, which is still receiver, but it was a little different this year than what I did last year. I did a lot of wildcat and ran a lot of stuff out of the backfield, so this year I just played wide receiver and that was pretty much it."

Lone Peak's football team lost to Jordan in the semifinals, so there's some obvious disappointment there. Many Cougar fans have expressed similar feelings of disappoint about BYU this year, but Shumway doesn't hold the same sentiments when it comes to the Cougars' shortcomings.

"Honestly, I don't think it was a very disappointing year," Shumway said. "I mean, I'm sure it wasn't what they expected, but there were some things that they couldn't really control. I don't get discouraged thinking about this year. I'm just excited to get over there and play some football, and I'm not really worried about BYU's offense. I think they'll be amazing and will pick it up."

There is, however, one concern he does have.

"The only thing I am concerned about is when I get home, will the same coaches be there?" said Shumway, who will serve a mission before enrolling at BYU. "You just never know three years from now, and I'm really close to all the coaches there."

While Shumway was purely used as an offensive weapon for his football team, he plays a different role out on the basketball court.

"Yeah, it's a bit different for me when it comes to basketball," he said. "I'm pretty much the team's defensive specialist. I didn't play much defense on my football team, but that's kind of what I do for our basketball team."

Lone Peak's basketball team, ranked 10th nationally by USA Today, just recently returned home from the Chicago Elite Classic, where the Knights put on an 84-46 clinic against Proviso East.

"It was like a showcase, and there were five games, so there were 10 teams there," said Shumway. "I think four of them were from Illinois. They brought a couple of out-of-state teams there like Mater Dei and St. Vincent and St. Mary. Obviously, Simeon High School from Chicago was there and that's Jabari Parker's team. We watched him play and he's really good."

Parker, a BYU recruit and one of the top prospects nationally, visited with the boys from Lone Peak High School.

"He came into the next room and visited with us for a minute," Shumway said. "He's a really nice guy and I've met him before. Erik [Mika] and Nick [Emery] know him a lot better than I do. They've played with him before at different camps and stuff. He's nice and really grounded, especially for how good he is. It was fun."

While visiting with Parker, Mika and Emery extended a little friendly persuasion to convince him to join them in playing for BYU.

"Obviously, they really want him to go there and play with them because he's a really good player," said Shumway. "He's a good kid."

Once basketball season is over, and the Knights of Lone Peak have battled for another state championship, Shumway will be nearing his departure for the mission field.

"After basketball, I'll only be a couple of months out from serving my mission. I'll be putting my papers in this month," said Shumway. "I'll be gone as soon as school ends and then I'll be back in 2015 to play football. Then we'll see if I redshirt or not. It will be around two and a half years before I play football. In reality it could be three and a half years before I get on the field to actually play a game. It's kind of weird to think about."

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