FacebookTwitterRSS

Continuing to beat the odds

October 20, 2016

Alex Heard

Staff Reporter | amh072@latech.edu

Trent Taylor returns a punt during the Bulldog’s 21-20 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks Sept. 3 in  Fayetteville.Photo by Tom Morris/LATechSportsPix.com

Trent Taylor returns a punt during the Bulldog’s 21-20 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks Sept. 3 in
Fayetteville.Photo by Tom Morris/LATechSportsPix.com

 

There is a ghost among us in Ruston.

 

Yes, it seems fictional, and a tad coincidental because Halloween is just around the corner. However, this apparition is no joke and has not just arrived, it has been in North Central Louisiana for almost four years now – haunting opposing defenses at Joe Aillet Stadium as a wide receiver for the Louisiana Tech football team.

 

Trent Taylor is only 5-8, yet is putting up statistics more like a 6-4 receiver would. He is so quick off of the line of scrimmage that defensive backs and linebackers responsible with guarding him cannot touch him, much like a ghost. And every play they do not get a hand on him, he is wide open for big gains and touchdowns, which haunts opponents like a ghost. They must not touch him much at all because he already has 75 receptions for 987 yards and eight touchdowns through only seven games this season. For his career he has 266 receptions (second all-time in Tech history to Biletnikoff winner Troy Edwards 280, which should be passed this season) 3363 yards and 28 touchdowns.

 

Growing up in Cookeville, Tennessee, Taylor learned to overcome much larger opponents despite his small stature. He would play tackle football with his older brother who would treat him as if he were big, not small, running him over any chance he could.

 

“That is where I adapted my quickness,” Taylor said. “I had to learn to get away from him somehow. I would play with him and his friends which got me ready for what I do today. I play with a bunch of monsters.”

 

Monsters and a ghost – how fitting.

 

Taylor moved to Shreveport to play high school football at Evangel, a powerhouse that has put out a myriad of college and professional football players.

 

“The level of play they have at Evangel is tremendous,” Taylor said. “They got me prepared in any way possible for college. The offensive minds that we had there were just way past the high school level. I would not be here if it was not for them.”

 

Size is not the only thing Taylor has had to overcome. While at Tech, Taylor has had a different starting quarterback each year he has played. Most of the time, in order for receivers to put up the type of statistics like Taylor, they play with the same quarterback over a span of multiple seasons. Taylor, on the other hand, has kept his numbers consistent despite Tech’s quarterback carousel.

 

“Our coaches like to tell us each team has life span of one year,” Taylor said. “Each year you start out with a new team and there has got to be a completely different mind set. Having new quarterback each year is where that mind set holds true.”

 

It is not like a player of Taylor’s size cannot succeed in the National Football League. Antonio Brown, son of former Tech receiver Eddie Brown, of the Pittsburgh Steelers is only two inches taller than Taylor and has become the best in the league. He got there through his quickness and footwork, much like Taylor. Before Brown there was Wes Welker – who is only an inch taller. Taylor not only models their physical traits but their mental traits as well.

Trent Taylor makes a diving catch in the Bulldogs’ 38-34 loss to the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Sept. 24 in Murfreesboro. Photo by Tom Morris/LATechSportsPix.com.

Trent Taylor makes a diving catch in the Bulldogs’ 38-34 loss to the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Sept. 24 in Murfreesboro. Photo by Tom Morris/LATechSportsPix.com.

 

“I like to pay attention to the smaller-sized receivers like me,” Taylor said. “Guys like Welker, Brown, Steve Smith, Cole Beasley and Danny Amendola. I like seeing guys who play with a bunch of passion out on the field. I like to learn whatever I can from them and add it to my game.”

 

Players like Trent Taylor are rare. Guys who have complete disregard for what they are told they can or cannot do. This is because they know that a person’s size can be measured but their heart cannot.

 

With the mind set he has there is no way he cannot succeed in life, the sky’s the limit.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *