THE SCOOP: Can't take the New Orleans out of Dekaney's Gumms
Var'Keyes Gumms is New Orleans born and bred.
The West Bank-native happened to land at Dekaney High School a few years back, who is led by Baton Rouge-native coach Anthony Williams.
"There was a lot going on in New Orleans and moving to Houston was just a better opportunity," Gumms said. "Playing for Coach Williams reminds me of home. He's a Louisiana guy who just understands."
The 6-foot-5 tight end was slow to arrive to the football field.
"I wasn't playing football in the eighth grade. I was all basketball," he said. "When I got here, I had coaches telling me I needed to play football. I started and had success. The offers started coming in, so I guess it was a good decision."
He's picked up offers from the likes of LSU, Louisiana Tech, Houston, Tulsa and Texas.
While his brother Levar plays receiver at Northwestern (La) State, Gumms reminds recruiters of another Dekaney athlete – Malcolm Epps. Epps plays for the Texas Longhorns and was a dual-sport star in football and basketball.
"I remember Malcolm, but I was just a freshman," he said. "I saw him play and was really impressed. I can see that basketball helped him too. It keeps me in shape and I go up for rebounds like a tight end catching a fade route. It helps my footwork also."
While Gumms is a Texan now, you can't take the New Orleans out of the kid.
"I cook a lot," he said. "It just takes my mind off of things. When I'm watching football, I really like (New Orleans Saint) Taysom Hill. He's so versatile and that's how I like to be. I feel like I can play defensive end, linebacker, receiver, fullback or tight end if I need to."
Gumms, an avid Dr. Doolittle fan, considers himself a good leader and a great listener. He wants to own his own business or give back and be a high school coach.
His driving force for success in sports?
"Really, my dad," he said. "He reminds me that he couldn't play sports because he was always in trouble. I don't take this opportunity that I have for granted."