Ask John Ehret coach Marcus Scott to talk about his prized quarterback, Travis Mumphrey, and prepare for a gush.
Put succinctly, Mumphrey “is the total package’’ in terms of the desirables and intangibles that coaches seek in their proteges.
When those athletes play the pivotal position of quarterback, well, now you’re really talking.
“As a coach you always want your best players to be some of your best people and best leaders,’’ said Scott, a 25-year coaching veteran who is in his first year at Ehret. “Sometimes you don’t get that. But, in this case, Travis is a kid who checks all of the boxes in terms of leadership, character and ability to play the game.
“Academically, he checks that box as well,’’ Scott added. “He’s a great student. His grade point average is over a 3.5. He’s going to be an early enrollee at the university of his choice in the spring. So he’s the total package.’’
A 6-foot-1, 195-pound dual-threat prospect, who possesses 4.5-second speed in the 40, Mumphrey is a UNLV commitment. Mumphrey chose the Rebels from a group of finalists that included Georgia Tech and New Mexico, the initial school to which he committed in May, before switching to UNLV.
“I’m committed to UNLV,’’ Mumphrey said. I’m graduating in December. I’m signing in the early period in December and I’m enrolling in January. I’m locked in."
Although not recruited by LSU, UL-Lafayette or Louisiana Tech, Mumphrey got 18 scholarship offers, all to play quarterback, with the other most notable suitors being Tulane, Tennessee, Arizona, Indiana, USM, Arkansas State, Troy and state colleges such as Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Southern, Grambling and UL-Monroe.
“I didn’t want to stay in-state,’’ Mumphrey said in explaining why Tulane was not a finalist. “I wanted to get out of state. That’s really been one of my goals since I was younger, to get out of state to college. That’s the reason.’’
Among his primary goals are to help Ehret win its first District 8-5A championship since 2015 and the Marrero school’s first state crown since 1985, with the latter representing a drought spanning more than three decades.
“We really don’t talk about going to the (Mercedes-Benz Superdome) a lot around here because that’s in the big picture,’’ said Mumphrey, 25-9 as a starter. “Everybody knows we want to go to the Dome. We just focus on the small things around here, really.’’
Mumphrey’s baptism as a starter came as a freshman because of injury in 2015 when Ehret last flirted with a state crown. He started four times with two of those coming in a 7-6 victory against Mandeville in the state semifinals and then a 46-12 loss to Zachary in the ensuing final.
“We just take one game at a time,’’ Mumphrey said. “We try to go 1-0 every game. If we do win this week, that’s 1-0. Then next week we start fresh at 0-0. To keep going 1-0, that’s our goal.’’
As leader of The New Orleans Advocate’s No. 3 ranked team among large schools, not to mention the state’s No. 8 ranked squad in Class 5A, Mumphrey has directed the Patriots to four straight victories following a season-opening loss at undefeated West Monroe, the state’s No. 2 team in 5A.
Ehret (4-1, 2-0 District 8-5A) seeks its fifth straight victory against Bonnabel (2-3, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Yenni Stadium. Then comes two-time reigning league champion Landry-Walker on Oct. 12 at Behrman Stadium.
Among Ehret’s victories are a 37-35 decision against Destrehan in Week 3 in which Mumphrey accounted for 437 yards and five touchdowns. The Patriots linchpin completed 21 of 32 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns without being intercepted in addition to rushing nine times for 58 yards and two more TDs.
Mumphrey was at it again last week in a key 34-7 8-5A victory against Chalmette in which he accounted for 256 yards and three touchdowns, including two scoring passes, no interceptions and 200 yards passing.
For the season Mumphrey ranks fifth among Metro area passers for all classifications with 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns while completing 72 of 121 attempts and being intercepted only three times. He has rushed for 162 yards and three TDs on 26 carries giving him an average of 8.4 yards for every pass or run he attempts.
“I’ve had the unique perspective of having to prepare for Travis on three different occasions when I was the defensive coordinator at Destrehan (in 2016, 2017 before coming to Ehret),’’ Scott said. “I saw enough of him to know that he’s a guy who can hurt you running and throwing it.
“When you prepare for a Travis Mumphrey, you’ve got to think about four different ways he can hurt you. Those are the designed quarterback runs, standing in the pocket and throwing the ball, moving outside of the pocket on the move and throwing the ball up the field when he scrambles and then of course when the play breaks down he can go get you big yardage in the open field.’’
In layman’s terms, Mumphrey is a playmaker.
“Travis is a once in every 10 year type of kid,’’ Scott said. “When you add up the total package in terms of academics, character, athletic ability, leadership, when you put all of those together, it’s hard to find guys like him. He understands that the best players make plays when the game is on the line. He embraces that role of leadership on our team.’’