Monday, August 2, 2010

Who is Collin Taylor?

On Friday night the Talons visited the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz. While the game had no playoff implications, as the Talons had already locked their playoff seeding and Oklahoma City was eliminated last week, the game was very exciting. Tulsa had a few players banged up from the week before against Arizona (mainly Terrell Mingo and Brett Rayl) and brought in some new talent to give some depth to the roster. One of those additions, Collin Taylor, didn't take long to get noticed by the fans.

Up 62-47 in the 4th, the Talons let Taylor get his chance at wide receiver. Taylor caught two consecutive passes and fought into the endzone for his first AFL Touchdown. Taylor made plays all night on special teams as well. At one point I think the coaching staff was going to put him at defensive back as well. He seemed to be someone who had a lot of talent and was willing to use it anywhere the team needed it. But the question arose, just who is Collin Taylor.

Collin Taylor graduated from Carmel, Indiana before going to Indiana University to play Wide Receiver. While he didn't make any appearance his freshman year in 2006 (he was a red shirt player in 2005) he started to make a name his sophomore year and was even named Scout Team Player of the Week. In his Junior year, Taylor began to make regular appearances as a wide receiver and on special teams. However, due to injuries, Taylor was asked to move to safety. According to Taylor, "after playing so much WR, I didn't think I would ever enjoy defense as much. But after a while, I really enjoyed it." Taylor's biggest game came in his senior year against Iowa. In that game, Taylor had two interceptions before Iowa made a triumphant comeback.

Taylor graduated this past December and began his preparation for transition to the Arena Football League. Originally, he wanted to stay close to Indiana and tried to make the teams for either the Chicago Rush or the Milwaukee Iron. Things did not go as planned though and Taylor ended up being signed by the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz. Taylor was with Oklahoma City for the first couple of months of the season before being released. He made an appearance in only one game, against Iowa as a Jack Linebacker. Taylor didn't let the release hit him personally though. "I understand that the AFL is a business and things just didn't work out while I was there," Taylor said.

Then, due to injuries, the Talons asked Taylor to come play for them. Taylor said he was, "just excited to be able to help out the Talons, but it definitely made it a bit sweeter to be able to play against the Dawgz, and against some good friends." Always wanting to help his team, Taylor said he is willing to play any role, defense, offense, or special teams, but if he had to choose he would play receiver. Taylor feels he fits in perfectly with the Talons system. "If one of our WRs were to sit out, I don't think we'd have to change any play calls or any offensive schemes," Taylor commented.

In addition, Taylor is excited to get better as a player. "This is a great place for me because I also get to learn everyday from three of the top wide receivers in this league, and that only helps me get better every time I'm on the field." Taylor proved friday he can play very physical football. This is most likely to being able to play both collegiate offense and defense at Indiana. "It made me a better overall player," Taylor said while discussing the transition to defense.

When asked about the difference between playing in the Big 10 and the AFL, Taylor said, "The AFL features great football players playing at their peak and great competitors, and just like the Big 10, you never know who will win the game until its over."

Next week Taylor should get a chance to play against one of the historically best franchises in arena football, the Tampa Bay Storm. Taylor knows how loyal and loud Talons fans can be and looks forward to the home field advantage of the BOK.

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