Now, he has one state championship ring on his finger and has a chance for another this season, he has committed to play football at South Alabama and has become a hero to the Calhoun community.
What a difference a couple years make.
Lamb, the senior starting quarterback for the Jackets, has directed his team to a 12-0 record so far this season and into the third round of the Class AA state playoffs where they will host Brooks County on Friday night. This comes just a year after he helped Calhoun go 15-0 and win their first state championship since 1952 with an overtime win against Buford at the Georgia Dome.
His journey to Calhoun started with his father Bobby Lamb, a college football coach, accepting the head-coaching job at Mercer in January of 2011. Once that decision was made, it was a clear choice as to where Taylor would play his high school football when the family made the move to Georgia. He would suit up for Calhoun and his uncle Hal Lamb.
“The whole thing was in God’s hands,” said Taylor. “My dad had some different choices for coaching jobs, but when he picked Mercer, I knew moving here to play for Calhoun was the ideal situation, playing for Coach (Hal) Lamb.
“And since I’ve been here, it’s been a great experience. Going 15-0 and winning a state championship last year, it can’t get better than that.”
Last season, Taylor had a huge season, passing for 3,600 yards en route to a Calhoun state title and being named to the Class AA All-State team as well as Offensive Player of the Year for the Rome News-Tribune and Calhoun Times. As a senior, he has been just as good. He’s thrown for 2,800 yards and 30 TDs, while also running for nine scores on the ground.
He said a big part of his success has to do with his relationship with his head coach Hal Lamb and offensive coordinator Michael Davis, both of which are also his uncles.
“It’s nice to have them as coaches,” said Taylor. “It’s definitely a key to have them here. They know me, and I know them. Most of all, they know how to coach me and how I respond to things.”
The weapons around Taylor haven’t hurt matters either. Last year, he had a deep receiving core to throw to led by his cousin Ben Lamb, along with Clay Johnson and Chase Rierson. With those three graduating last May, a new group of playmakers have grown around Taylor, including receivers Josh Barnes, Tydus Curtis and Brett Moss and running back Alex Urbano.
And many say, this year’s offense is even more explosive than the one in 2011. Taylor doesn’t say one is better than the other. They just have different ways of doing things.
“We have different strengths (than last year),” said Taylor. “Last year, our offensive line wasn’t as big so we couldn’t get as much of a push in the run game. This year, with our offensive line, we can definitely move some people. Having the running game we have this year is a huge plus.
“And we just reloaded at wide receiver. Last year, those guys were experienced and were already known for what they’ve done. This group had to kind of grow into that, but they’ve done a great job.”
This Friday, Taylor and the Jackets will get their toughest test yet in the form of Brooks County, who is also undefeated at 12-0 and ranked No. 2 in the state in AA. Calhoun won the coin toss on Saturday between the two No. 1 seeds to determine the home site so the game will be played at Phil Reeve Stadium.
The matchup has been anticipated since the brackets came out, and Taylor said playing in a game like this, especially at home, is something players dream of.
“These two teams playing has been in the back of people’s minds for a while,” said Taylor. “We just had to stay focused and get here first, but now it’s here, and these are the type of games you want to play in.
“(Being at home) is going to be great too,” Lamb added. “All the people that’s going to be here and the stadium packed out, it’s going to be awesome.”