Quintez Cephus is not only a fun name to say, but it is the name of a breakout athlete for the Wisconsin Badgers. If it wasn’t for a broken thumb and a gunshot, though, we would never be talking about the standout wideout.
Quintez was a basketball player through and through. They guy was getting offers left and right to play basketball and had officially decided to commit to Furman. He was signed, sealed, and on the delivery route until a fractured thumb derailed the entire plan. Cephus hurt his thumb before his senior year of high school and missed a tremendous amount of AAU action which is a devastating blow to the career of a young basketball player.
A broken thumb typically would not be a career defining injury, however, the lingering worries of the university turning its back can’t help but creep into the mind of a young athlete such as Cephus. While this tiny tragedy was unfolding, a strange, yet appealing call was made to Cephus. It was Ted Gilmore on the line. Wide Receivers coach from the University of Wisconsin.
This does not seem odd or out of the ordinary, but Quintez has not played football in about 4 years. Why in the world was Coach Gilmore calling Quintez Cephus? What would a Furman basketball player do for a Power 5 conference team like Wisconsin? How did Gilmore even hear of this guy?
As it turned out, Cephus’s father, Andre Taylor, was the driving force behind this. Taylor wanted the best possible situation for his son and he decided to send out tape to various football coaches throughout the NCAA. Gilmore took the bait and threw a scholarship Cephus’s way. Well, he caught that scholarship (like the footballs he has 28 times this year) and never looked back.
His pure athleticism is something to behold. Quintez runs crisp routes, has speed to burn, and can jump out of the gym (which he metaphorically did). Cephus saw some time last year but was only on the receiving end of 4 completions, however, his talent and work ethic had not gone unnoticed, but…
There always seems to be a “but” in stories like these, doesn’t there? During the off-season of Cephus’s freshman year, his father was shot at a convenience store over an argument. He passed away later that week. Quintez was faced with a decision; a Man vs. Self type of conflict for you language arts aficionados out there. Would he continue to grind and fight to become the player he wanted to be, or would he become a shell of himself and move on from football? This may never have been a conscious inner struggle, however; when tragedy strikes, it is easy to fall into a funk and lose sight of one’s goals.
Quintez Cephus refused to consider the latter option and has become Wisconsin’s leading receiver in receptions (28), yards (477), and touchdowns (5). His rankings within the B1G 10 are also 20th, 7th, and 6th respectively. Pretty solid for a basketball player who suits up for a ground and pound football squad.
A driven, athletic guy who not only pushes through adversity, but bulldozes through it is hard to come by. Quintez is 100% that guy and is showing it through his play in this 2017 campaign. If after reading all of this and seeing what he has done on the field you’re still not a fan, at least enjoy how fun it is to say the name Quintez Cephus.