Unlike most high school standouts on the gridiron, Gardner Edgerton Senior Talor Warner returned to playing football in his sophomore year after a four-year hiatus. Warner’s main sport during his time away from football was basketball however after some reconsideration, he decided to return to the sport.
“I started playing football from 3rd grade and stopped at the end of my 5th-grade year due to several concussions I had suffered,” Warner stated. From that point on I was all basketball, all the time. As my sophomore year began I was feeling burnt out of basketball. Just as well, I started to realize that at my size and my style of play I was not going to be playing college basketball anywhere. So, I gave football a shot halfway through my sophomore year season.”
The return to football has paid great dividends for Warner and the Blazers. Warner has lined up at both defensive end and defensive tackle on defense and plays offensive tackle on offense. As a Junior, he helped lead the Blazers to a 10-1 record which included a perfect 8-0 record during sunflower league play. As a result of his efforts, Warner brought home a plethora of honors as he was named all-state by almost every media outlet and was named an American Family Insurance All-American.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 260 pounds Warner has a great physique and stands amongst his peers. Along with his size, Warner lists his athleticism as one of the reasons he is a force on the field.
“Definitely my explosiveness, my flexibility, and my ability to move at my size,” he stated.
Warner drew interest from plenty of division one schools after his junior season including, Iowa State, Illinois State, Kansas State, and North Dakota State. Warner ultimately ended up committing to play at Kansas State this past June.
In addition to football Warner also plays basketball for Gardner Edgerton.
“I play basketball but that is it,” Warner stated. “I’m kind of the guy that they just send in to get rebounds, rough up the opponent, and just antagonize the whole team a little bit.”
Along with athletics, he is also a successful student currently holding a 3.86 GPA and a 27 on the ACT.
The outlook is very positive for 2019 in Gardner as the Blazers, led by second year head coach Ryan Cornelsen, return six starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s 10-1 team. As a result, Warner and his teammates have set the bar high when it comes to expectations and goals. GE returns utility man, South Dakota committ Teven McKelvey, also featured on Faces in Kansas earlier this summer and is one of the states top multiple sport athletes and has multiple division one offers
“As a team, we want to compete for and win a state championship,” he stated. “Individually I want to win the majority of my one on one battles, on both the offensive and defensive side.”
Warner expects everybody on the roster to play a key role in how this fall will go for Gardner Edgerton.
“Honestly, as cliché as it sounds, everyone is key,” he stated. “Not one person or position is more important than the other. Starter or not you are just as relevant as the next guy because there is so much more that goes into it than just Friday nights. There are practices, meetings, lifting sessions, and rehab. So, everyone who plays a factor in one of these roles is a key player on our team.”
Warner and the Blazers kick start the 2019 season on Friday, September 6th as they play host to the Shawnee Mission East Lancers.
Q&A w/ Warner
How did you get involved in football?
I started playing football from 3rd grade and stopped at the end of my 5th grade year due to several concussions I had suffered. From that point on I was all basketball, all the time. As my sophomore year began I was feeling burnt out of basketball. Just as well, I started to realize that at my size and my style of play I was not going to be playing college basketball anywhere. So I gave football a shot halfway through my sophomore year season.
What are your goals this season?
As a team we want to compete for and win a state championship. Individually I want to win the majority of my one on one battles, on both the offensive and defensive side.
Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?
Of course we do. You shouldn’t be playing this game if you think otherwise.
What makes you such a force as a player?
Definitely my explosiveness, my flexibility, and my ability to move at my size.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
The atmosphere is unreal. You can literally feel a buzz in the air on game days. And coming out of the locker room underneath the student section you can just feel the energy raining down on top of you and it’s just…invigorating. It really makes me proud to put on for the community and the fans each and every Friday.
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
The best way for me to answer this is to say that coming to one of our games means that you will be a part of something completely unique to the rest of the state. You will belong with us no matter who you are or where you are from.
Who are other key players on your team?
Honestly, as cliché as it sounds, everyone is key. Not one person or position is more important than the other. Starter or not you are just as relevant as the next guy because there is so much more that goes into it than just Friday nights. There’s practices, meetings, lifting sessions, and rehab. So everyone who plays a factor into one of these roles are a key player on our team.
Favorite thing about football?
Domination your opponent in every aspect possible. That’s what I love about our style of play. We can beat you physically on defense and then out think you on offense.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?
I play basketball but that is it. I’m kind of the guy that they just send in to get rebounds, rough up the opponent, and just antagonize the whole team a little bit.
What is it like to play for your coach?
I can’t put into words how amazing it is to play for Coach Cornelsen. The expectation is set from day one and it never changes. Just as well he puts us in the best position to have success every week.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
Lift, Eat, and Lift some more. We also worked a lot of running technique and speed training. And on top of that defensively we have worked a lot of footwork and pass rushing skills.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
I have committed to Kansas State University to play at the next level after my senior year. Go Cats!
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
I would say my favorite thing to do is read and do adventurous things like paddle boarding and exploring.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Well, I would be lying if I said the NFL isn’t a dream of mine but aside from that I would say I see myself apprehending suspects and chasing killers with the FBI.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
My favorite subject is either History or psychology. I’m a pretty good student with a 27 ACT and a 3.86 GPA.
Who is your role model?
DeShawn Fogle. No doubt. Love ya Coach.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
Man that’s a hard question to answer. You know I’m all about my food. I’d have to go with either Johnny’s BBQ or Austin’s Bar and Grill.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
Most people don’t know I’m adopted.
Anything else to add?
Taylor Braet has the best collection of purple at K-State and in the entire state of Kansas. From his purple Jeep to his purple shoes, nobody’s beating him.