Two years ago they featured DE/TE Cliff Matthews who now stars at South Carolina, this past season the baton was handed over to WR/S Jaron Brown who will take his talents to Clemson next year. The one constant that so many people overlook is 2009 RB Travis Small. You see Small has been the feature back during those two state championship runs and with another year ahead of him he'll be the senior leader next year that everyone looks up to for the Braves.
At a shade over 5'10 and weighing in at 184 pounds Small has dazzled Braves fans and spectators throughout the state with his ability to make gamebreaking plays. In fact Small has a shot at breaking a number of Cheraw school records next season but also some of the Palmetto State records as well.
Having won back to back AA state titles we asked Small how the feat made him feel. "Winning back to back state titles was very exciting. Not too many teams get that opportunity so it made us feel great. Cheraw has been trying and trying over and over again so it was exciting to get it done. We've got a good chance at doing it again next year I think."
Those of you who've had a chance to see Small play in person may have noticed that he indeed is a gamebreaker. Capable of taking it to the house on every play Small talked about his mentality and strengths on the football field. "Most people get tired throughout the game slow down in the 4th quarter. I try to take care of business and get the job done. I love being able to step up and break the big play." Small many times appears to get stronger as the game goes along and capitalizes on his opponent's weariness.
Given his prowess as one of the state's leading rushers and having helped lead his team to back to back state titles college coaching staffs have made him a priority in the 2009 class. "I haven't talked a lot to anybody in particular yet. If I were to get my first offer I believe it would be from South Carolina. I have talked to coach David Reaves. Also recently I've talked to Tommy Bowden and Dabo Sweeney from Clemson too." Currently Travis awaits that first scholarship offer and we expect it come sooner than later given his gaudy statistics despite not having a ton of carries. An example of his ability was this season's state championship game in which he had 11 carries for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Although it's still early in the recruiting process Small shared with us his early list of favorites. "I'm probably most interested in South Carolina the most right now. I haven't really been to as many other places yet. I'd have to say my top three would be South Carolina, Clemson, and Georgia."
There are other schools involved currently as well. "I want to hear more from Georgia. I have been hearing from Michigan and West Virginia. Michigan's recruiter that was here recruiting Jaron said he'd be back to see me and I've been getting a lot of mail from them lately."
Travis says a school's academic program and coaching staff will be a big part of his decision making process.
Just how has Small been so successful on the field? "I have good vision and some pretty good cut moves. I have good agility." Although he has run a 4.5 in the 40 yard dash Small says he's working hard to lower the mark. "I've been working out with a guy named Clinton Holmes in Florence. Me and a friend of mine have been going up there in the offseason to work on weightlifting and speed training."
Speed isn't the only area where he'd like to see his numbers improve. He also hopes to grow another inch or two and add some weight to his frame as well to entice college coaches even more.
Being one of the top prospects in the state we expect that it will probably be soon when he gets his first scholarship offer. Once that offer comes we asked him if there was any chance that he'd commit early? "That probably would be a possibility, but because I haven't been to too many schools yet I don't want to rush my decision. I want to make sure I make visits first and get a good feel for each school."
Travis reports a 2.9 GPA and plans on taking the SAT on March 1st.
A Closer Look At...Travis Small
3 favorite music artists: Lil' Wayne, Cassidy, and 50 Cent
Favorite subject in school: English
Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite football player: Reggie Bush
Favorite thing to do when not playing football: I work a lot on my school work and when I'm not doing that I'm probably just shooting basketball or playing football in the yard.
Favorite video game: Madden 2008
Dream school: Georgia
SCPrepNation.com will keep you posted with the very latest regarding Travis Small as his recruitment starts to heat up.
Cheraw RB Travis Small
Class of 2009
Travis is all smiles with the state championship trophy