By his own admission it took a lot of hard work, many practices and reps over the years, but it all paid off last year for Stillwater senior Julius Talley when he broke into the starting lineup in the defensive secondary. “He’s a great young man and football player,” said head coach Tucker Barnard. “He started for us last year at safety and we also used him periodically at wide receiver when we needed a big play because he knows the schemes and runs routes so well. As a result, we’ve used him a little more at receiver during our summer passing leagues and he did well.”
He’s already recorded one lasting memory in his defensive role when he intercepted a pass in the Class 6A-II state semi-final game against eventual state champ Bixby. There was also a memorable win for him during the regular season. “I really enjoyed beating Deer Creek because their student section almost rushed the field early, so us winning the game and watching them have to walk back to their seats was funny,” said Julius.
Even though he’s just started for one year, Barnard says he can already see the influence the senior is having on the younger players. “He’s not a real vocal leader but I can see some of the younger players already trying to utilize some of the moves and tricks on defense that Julius has shown them.”
On the field, Julius is always working to improve himself by working against his teammates. “I probably battle the most with our quarterback Gage Gundy because some stuff I do involves reading the quarterback and we always keep it competitive during practices,” said Julius who also plays guard on the Pioneers basketball team.
Julius is a star in the classroom carrying nearly a 4.0 GPA and Coach Barnard had some closing thoughts on this talented senior. “He’s just a smooth, natural athlete. You could give him a ball from any sport, and he’d probably do pretty well and he’s also the kind of guy you would like to see your daughter date.”