2010 Intro: Takoby Cofield

TARBORO, N.C. --- Takoby Cofield's varsity career began a lot sooner than Tarboro High's coaching staff envisioned.

"We knew when he was a freshman that he had the size, so we knew there was potential there," Tarboro head football coach Jeff Craddock said. "What we didn't see coming was how quickly he developed.

"We pulled him up as a sophomore to work with him some more and to see if we could get him a little better at some things he needed to do, and we found out he was very coachable and so he was learning very quickly. The next thing you know, we're thinking ‘Man, this kid could probably help us this year.' We were thinking maybe when he was a junior [he could help]."

Cofield headed into his freshman year with less football experience than most of his peers. While the majority of his teammates were seasoned in the youth football ranks, Cofield was barred from participation because he was too big. Thus, his freshman season on the junior varsity squad served as Cofield's first taste of organized football.

Cofield credits his camping experience at North Carolina following that freshman season for his drastic improvement.

"That day at that camp, that's when it felt like I figured it out," Cofield said. "I felt like, after that, I could play with most guys.

"I came back and worked my behind off. Before I knew it I was starting."

Ironically, Cofield didn't primarily attend UNC's camp for the teaching aspect. He went, more so, because he was a Tar Heel fan.

"I grew up a UNC fan – my whole life I've been a Carolina fan," Cofield said. "My brother went to Carolina."

Cofield began his sophomore season splitting time with a senior at left tackle. By the third game, Cofield was the full-time starter.

Following his sophomore season, Cofield was awarded the "Most Improved Player" by Tarboro's coaching staff.

Cofield went on to have a solid junior campaign, earning all-conference recognition.

Tarboro employs a straight-T offense, a seldom-used, "old school," run-heavy scheme that the program has ran since the 1970s.

"Since we run the football a lot, we usually run it behind [Cofield] when we need key yards," Craddock said.

This coming season, Craddock plans to experiment with shifting Cofield inside.

"We're looking to maybe move him to guard this year and letting him do some pulling and trapping," Craddick said. "Since we're a misdirection [offense], we pull guards. Most opponents put their bigger defensive linemen inside, so we're looking to counter that by putting our bigger guys inside."

On the collegiate level, Cofield is being recruited to play both guard and tackle.

"It depends on who you talk to," Craddock said. "Some of the schools have said that they feel like he's more of a guard. Some of the schools said ‘No, we'll keep him at tackle.'"

Duke, East Carolina, and Virginia Tech have all extended Cofield scholarship offers.

"What they see is a young man that is 6-4, 6-5, about 290 [pounds] who has excellent footwork and the kid can play football – he can block," Craddock said. "And he has good grades and he's already qualified. You put all that in one package as a junior going into your senior year, it makes him very attractive."

Several schools, most notably Virginia, appear close to offering Cofield a scholarship.

"There's a lot of interest from just about all the schools in and around North Carolina," Craddock said. "Obviously some of them feel a little bit more strongly from what they've seen on film and met with him, they feel very comfortable going ahead and making him an offer. Some of the other ones want to see more film, want to see him in camp – want to see more of him."

Cofield says he's receiving significant interest from Clemson, UNC, NC State, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, and UCLA.

This summer, Cofield plans to attend several camps.

"If it's possible, I'm going to try to get to every school that's recruiting me," Cofield said.

Cofield's definite camping stops include Duke, East Carolina, NC State, and for the third consecutive year UNC. In addition to UNC, he camped at ECU and NC State last summer.

Despite his strong feelings towards UNC, Cofield wouldn't hastily make a verbal commitment if the Tar Heels' coaching staff offered a scholarship.

"It would put them up there right beside ECU, right beside Duke, right beside Virginia Tech," Cofield said. "I'm considering all of my offering schools equally. I feel like if you are offering me, you have that much more interest in me."

Cofield plans to announce his collegiate decision during Tarboro's preseason jamboree.

Thus far this spring, Cofield has attended junior days at Duke and East Carolina.

Takoby Cofield

Inside Carolina Top Stories