West Monroe High School breezed to the Louisiana 5A state title in 2009 and the Rebels received plenty of help from running back/return specialist Teshadi Talton.
Talton, who is one of the top sprinters in the state, showcased that speed last season en route to scoring 20 touchdowns for West Monroe.
"He's extremely explosive," said West Monroe assistant coach Larry Wright, Jr., who knows a few things about running the football himself. Wright, a former star tailback at West Monroe, signed with Notre Dame out of high school and played for both the Fighting Irish and Louisiana Tech.
"Teshadi is a good kid who got caught-up age-wise in the classroom," Wright explained. "He has exhausted his eligibility on the field, but he still has another year to go in school."
Thus, Talton's plans for the future are uncertain right now. It's possible that the speedy junior will transfer to a private school where he would be eligible on the gridiron this fall.
In 2009, Talton rushed for more than 700 yards and averaged in excess of 11 yards per carry, according to Wright. At 5-foot-9, 165 pounds, Talton runs a 4.41-to-4.45 in the 40-yard dash and boasts a 37-inch vertical.
"He split time at running back (with Tyler Cain)," said Wright, and "he averaged 37 yards per punt return."
Talton actually missed a couple of games down the stretch for West Monroe -- which finished the year a perfect 15-0 -- after turning an ankle in an early playoff game vs. St. Augustine. However, that injury has healed up just fine, as evidenced by a good showing by Talton at the recent state indoor track meet.
"At his size, Teshadi might not be a running back in college," Wright said, "but he can definitely play at the BCS level as a cornerback or slot receiver - and as a return specialist."