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Travis Wilson gives San Clemente a superb athlete at quarterback

At 6 feet 6 and 215 pounds, the senior, who has committed to Utah for football, is versatile enough to also play volleyball and could try his hand at several other sports if so inclined.

August 23, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

In the beach community of San Clemente, where on a cloudless day the residents probably think they're in heaven, Travis Wilson knows how to soak up the sunshine and turn energy into action.

At 6 feet 6 and 215 pounds, Wilson is the city's teenage wonder boy.

Whether surfing, throwing a football, riding a skateboard, spiking a volleyball or dunking a basketball, Wilson can do it all. There isn't a coach at San Clemente High who hasn't wanted Wilson on his team.

"They've asked me to do the high jump, they've asked me to do lacrosse," he said.

On Friday nights, playing quarterback for the Tritons, Wilson is truly a big man on the field. Last season, he passed for 2,031 yards and 12 touchdowns, and rushed for 457 yards and four touchdowns. He also started for the league championship volleyball team. He has committed to Utah for football.

"He's a phenomenal athlete," said Eric Patton, former San Clemente football coach, who was replaced this month.

Wilson can play golf, hit a baseball, has a vertical jump above 30 inches and isn't shy about creating a scene at lunch by winning a dunk competition.

"He's the most athletic player I've ever had," volleyball Coach Ken Goldstone said.

For all his versatility, Wilson has decided football deserves his focus. It's the sport he has played since fifth grade.

"My passion is to play pro football," he said.

As he prepares for his senior season, all signs point to him being one of the best quarterbacks in the state.

His size allows him to look out from beyond his offensive line and use his strong arm to get the ball to his receivers. And his legs are powerful enough that he can run over a defender as if he were a fullback.

"I love hitting," he said. "I used to be a linebacker."

If there were any questions about Wilson's ability, they vanished in the first game of his varsity career. He was a sophomore forced to start in the opening game of the 2009 season because of an injury. He was a nervous wreck playing against Oceanside El Camino.

Patton said there were a couple times Wilson got hit so hard no one knew whether he was going to get back up. But he did, and San Clemente ended up winning, 21-14, with Wilson completing 13 of 18 passes for 142 yards. It was his only start of the season, but it was a learning experience that he won't forget.

"They hit me pretty hard and some of them I wasn't ready for, but I knew I had to get back up," he said. "It taught me every level is going to be faster and faster and you have to be tough to play football."

Growing up in San Clemente, Wilson said, "I've always been surrounded by sports. … I've always grown up loving this high school [and] wanting to be the starting quarterback."

He has used his love for volleyball to prepare him for football, working on agility and jumping.

"A lot of [football friends] question why I still play volleyball because they want me to just focus on football, but they know I like playing volleyball," he said. "They're pretty shocked how high I can jump."

It's just another example of his athleticism at work.

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