Markiece Traylor heard from second-hand sources of the doubt some had of his Costa Mesa High football team when it began the season with a loss.
"You could do better," Traylor said. "You could do better."
He brushed off the comments because they don't compare to what a doubter he knows personally says about him. The person who doubts Traylor is part of his family.
When the subject comes up, he smiles. The senior admits he's hurting inside at the same time. He doesn't want to say the family member's name. Family has just been an issue since Traylor moved into the area before high school.
Traylor said he missed the past two seasons because of family and grades. He almost never came out to play in his final year of high school.
"I actually wanted to play, but I didn't think I would make enough practices and actually dedicate myself to football due to the family problems," said Traylor, adding that he has bounced from house to house while in high school.
"A couple of my coaches, they were talking about how it would be good for me to, like, release … how I feel out."
Traylor let it all out last week on the field for sure. He unveiled what kind of special player he is to whoever showed up to Costa Mesa's second game of the season.
There is a reason why Noah JeyaRajah said Traylor is every quarterback's dream target. He has the athleticism, speed and hands to make big plays as a wide receiver.
The senior connected with Traylor on seven passes, almost half of them went for scores. A week after the Mustangs couldn't find the end zone, Traylor raced into it in stride three times. He burned the secondary for scores of 61, 54 and 36 yards.
The fastest player on the team doesn't even know his 40-yard dash time. All he cares about is that he gets to run around like a normal kid.
"There were some issues in his life that made it extremely difficult for him to have time do stuff like this," Costa Mesa Coach Wally Grant said.
"Markiece is a great kid, who's doing phenomenal things against some phenomenal odds. He's a fun, positive kid. If I had 11 Markieces out here, I'd coach forever."
Thanks to Traylor's seven-catch, 184-yard and three-touchdown performance last week, Grant led the Mustangs to their first victory of the season.
If you ask Traylor where the credit should go for Costa Mesa's 45-14 rout of Santiago at Jim Scott Stadium, he said the offensive line and running game. The line and ground attack opened the passing game and it turned out to be a success.
The numbers can't get any more efficient than JeyaRajah's nine-for-10 passing for 194 yards and four touchdowns. JeyaRajah, in his first season as the team's quarterback, said it was fun to throw the ball, especially to a former teammate.
"I'm very happy to see him back on the football team," JeyaRajah said of Traylor, who played with JeyaRajah on the freshman team.
"It was definitely his night."
No one can doubt that.
Born: Nov. 9, 1994
Hometown: San Bernardino
Weight: 165 pounds
Position: Wide receiver
Coach: Wally Grant
Favorite food: Lasagna
Favorite movie: "I, Robot"
Favorite athletic moment: "Freshman year stripping [Estancia High running back Robert Murtha]. I took it for a touchdown."
Week in review: Traylor caught seven passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns in the Mustangs' 45-14 win against Santiago at Jim Scott Stadium.