Shead backed up the promise he showed as a freshman with a terrific season in 2007. Then 6-2, and 200 pounds, the son of Cayuga High principal Bill Shead, rushed for 2,810 yards and 33 scores on 255 carries.
It was after Shead's dominant sophomore season that the Longhorns first showed interest in the star of the 1A program about 20 miles northwest of Palestine.
Headed into the 2008 season, many football fans in East Texas wondered if Shead could duplicate the impressive numbers of a season ago. Ten pounds heavier with increased strength in the upper and lower body, the junior made believers out of every high school football fan in the area toting the rock 391 times for 3,540 yards and 52 touchdowns.
While Shead put together a monster season, Cayuga came up short in their bid to win the 1A state championship, losing 24-13 in the finals to Stratford in Abilene.
Shortly after the season, the offers started rolling in for the first team all-state and Offensive Player of the Year pick. Prior to being offered and committing to Texas, Shead was offered by Texas A&M, TCU, Baylor, Houston, SMU and Tulsa.
Cayuga head coach Tommy Allison told Smoaky.com that Shead is excited about his choice, "Traylon is very excited about his decision to attend Texas, but he is also very committed to helping the Wildcats basketball team win a Class 1-A state championship."
Shead will enter his senior season with a good chance to break Kenneth Hall's national career rushing record of 11,232 yards. He will enter the 2009 season with 7,632 yards on 787 carries and 102 touchdowns needing 3,601 yards to break the long-standing national record.
Cayuga finished the 2008 season 13-3 and will be one of the pre-season picks to win the 1A state title this year.
The Cayuga basketball team (including Shead) will face Mt. Enterprise in the third round of the 1A D-I playoffs on Tuesday after defeating Broaddus 60-51 Friday night.
Traylor Shead scouting report:
Shead is a legit 6-2, 210-pounds with the frame to added 15-20 pounds of muscle mass. Shead is a naturally strong runner that has a short burst with every step. With the ability to stick his foot in the ground, burst to the second level and maximize runs with power and a forward lean, Shead has the makings of an effective back in between the tackles at the next level. While Shead has the ability to burst for 10-15 yards, he doesn't possess breakaway speed or the ability to accelerate by players in the secondary.
In Cayuga's playoff win over Ganado, Shead showed quick feet in the hole and that ability to stick his left or right foot in the ground and burst out of cuts. As well as physical ability, Shead showed the desire to put his team on his back and run with a possessed style when his team needed him the most and especially when the goal line was in sight.