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A True Underdog

Edward Bass, Staffer

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Nowadays, it feels like only the big star recruits get all the attention coming out of high school. More and more four and five-star recruits are stealing all the headlines. They use social media to announce their commitments and to show people their everyday lives. However, many players go unnoticed in the recruitment process.

For Taywan Taylor, it was completely different. Coming out of Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, Kentucky, he was a 0 star recruit.

“”It definitely drives me being a 0-star recruit out of high school,” Taylor told Kyle Crabbs of FanRag Sports at the Senior Bowl. “… That’s one of the reasons why I go so hard.”

In high school, he only had two offers to go play, which were Colorado State and UT-Martin, until one of Western Kentucky’s assistant coaches saw him play. He praised his toughness and athleticism, things which cannot be measured on a stat-board. He committed to Western Kentucky in 2013.

In his career at Western Kentucky, Taylor broke school records for career receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and was named 2-time First Team All-Conference USA his junior and senior years. In his senior, he finished third in the nation with 1,730 receiving yards, 17 receiving touchdowns, and averaged 17.7 yards per catch, but he was an unknown in the world of college football.

After his stellar career at Western Kentucky, Taylor was invited to the 2017 NFL Combine; he didn’t fail to impress. The athleticism he was first praised for by Western Kentucky did not go unnoticed, as he posted solid numbers. He had an 11′-5″ broad jump, a 39.5-inch vertical and a 4.33 40 yard dash, numbers that made NFL scouts turn heads.

Since he played for a small school, people may say how he lacked high-end competition or how he is just an great athlete. As Bleacher Report states, “he is more than a gifted athlete- he is a well-rounded receiver. His stats don’t mirror being just an athlete.”

Taylor now is getting all the buzz at the right time. From 0 star-recruit to potential NFL starter, Taylor has never let distractions take him off the path for success. He had everything up against him. It was easy for him to quit, but he stuck with it. He didn’t let his small school or rank define him. Taylor has kept his determination and it is paying off.

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A True Underdog