Taylor Potts (born October 13, 1987) is a former American footballquarterback. He played college football at Texas Tech, and was signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He was waived during training camp, and then signed as a free agent by the San Diego Chargers in May 2012, where he was expected to compete for the third-string quarterback position.
Potts served as a backup for nationally renowned quarterback Graham Harrell and took over the starting role for the 2009 season.
Prior to coming to Texas Tech, Potts played at Abilene High School in Abilene, Texas. In his senior season, Potts threw for 3,162 yards and 53 touchdowns and garnered Class 5A Region and All-State teams. In addition to Texas Tech, Potts was recruited by Michigan, Baylor, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M.
Potts spent his 2006 freshman season as a “redshirt,” seeing no game action but working as a member of the scout team. He then served as a backup to Graham Harrell for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, seeing limited playing time in several Tech blowout victories. In those two seasons, he compiled 669 yards passing, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
Potts was named Harrell’s heir apparent and starter by Mike Leach in April 2009. Potts beat out classmate and former walk on Steven Sheffield and highly touted Redshirt Freshman Seth Doege. In his first game against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, he completed 34 of 48 passes for 405 yards 2 touchdowns passing and 2 on the ground, and threw three interceptions in a 38–13 win. The next week against the Rice Owls, Potts threw 7 touchdowns and no interceptions in 55–10 blowout win. For his performance he was named Big 12 Offensive player of the week. The next week, Potts played his best game to date as he faced off against # 2 Texas Longhorns led by Colt McCoy. Potts started slow but ended up with 46 completions out of 62 attempts for 420 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. Potts took a vicious hit from Texas Defensive End Sergio Kindle that caused a turnover that in effect sealed the close win for the Longhorns, but got back up to throw his third touchdown of the game to Tramain Swindall. Despite losing 34–24, pundits noted that Potts outplayed McCoy with better numbers, and going into a hostile environment against a top 2 team and taking a vicious hit in the process. Tech fans were optimistic after the Texas game, however a shocking 29–28 loss to the Houston Cougars in which the Texas Tech offense failed to convert on fourth and goal from inside the one led to the Houston victory. Critics blamed Potts’ inability to use his 6’6 frame to punch the ball in and seal the victory. In the next game against the New Mexico Lobos, Potts started slow and was knocked out with a Concussion. With the game tied at 7 with a minute left, back-up Steven Sheffield came in and scored to give the Raiders the lead en route to a 48–28 win. Potts was taken to the hospital and sat out the next 2 games, as Sheffield led Tech to blowout wins over Kansas State and Nebraska 66–14, and 31–10, respectively. Potts found himself back as the starter against the Texas A&M Aggies as Sheffield broke his foot against Nebraska. Potts played poorly and was benched by Leach and was replaced Seth Doege to the chants from the crowd of “No more Potts.” Tech lost to A&M 52–30. Doege started the next game against the Kansas Jayhawks but was largely ineffective and Potts led the Raiders to a 42–21 win off the strength of the ground game. Potts had a fairly effective game despite a loss to Oklahoma State, 24–17 in the next game. Potts delivered his biggest win to date, a 41–13 drubbing of the Oklahoma Sooners and finished the season with a 20–13 win over the Baylor Bears, giving Tech an 8–4 overall record and 5–3 in Big 12 play.