Tavien Feaster doesn’t mind whatsoever being mentioned in the same category with legendary Spartanburg County running backs Stephen Davis and Marcus Lattimore.
Still, the rising Spartanburg High junior is out to separate himself from the pack.
“Marcus is a great guy,” Feaster said. “I’ve had a chance to meet him, and he’s a cool guy. Steve is too. I respect both of their games. They are great running backs that came through the county and set a standard for running backs that I have to live up to in order to be called great. At the end of the day, everybody is different. I’m my own individual, so I’m going to set the bar even higher.”
Feaster (5-foot-11, 192 pounds) has certainly caught much of the nation’s attention. He has offers from Clemson, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Penn State and Tennessee. Clemson was the first offer that Feaster received, and on Tuesday, he named the Tigers as the current favorite.
“(It’s) just the way they’ve been recruiting me,” Feaster said.
He also added that it helped their cause by being the first to offer.
Feaster rushed for 1,541 yards with 16 touchdowns and added 734 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns last year. He followed that up by winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Region II-4A, county and state meets. He posted a time of 10.59 in the 100 at the state meet and shattered the county record with a time of 21.16 in the 200.
While the Tigers are at the top of the pack, Feaster said it’s an honor to have schools such as Georgia and Alabama wanting his services.
“It feels good because I know that all those universities are running back universities,” he said. “They have top guys going to the draft mostly every year. They develop great running backs at those schools.”
Feaster is a highly touted prospect, but still has two years of high school football left. He said his primary focus is on the Vikings and trying to help them get back to the top of the heap.
“I try to keep my school and football first because that’s where it all started,” Feaster said. “I do everything right there and then if I have any time left I worry about my future.”
Feaster knows the attention he’ll receive going into this year will be on a wider scale than last year. However, he’s not letting it get to him.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “As long as I prepare myself this summer harder than I did last summer, I know I’ll be fine.”
Feaster said most of the SEC schools showing interest or extending offers trumps the opinion that he’s too small to play in a high-level program.
“Some people think it’s a weight problem,” he said. “I’m not a big, muscular guy but it does surprise me each time they offer.”
Feaster plans to continue to get bigger, faster and stronger each day. He said the ultimate goal is to reach the NFL, just as Davis and Lattimore did, and beyond.
“I want to be a pro football player, and I want to go to the Olympics,” Feaster said.