CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Tabyus Taylor’s football journey has had a handful of stops. This week, he hopes the latest destination will be to the headquarters of an NFL franchise.
“I call it ‘kicking in the back door,’” Taylor said on Tuesday. “I’m going to get there regardless.”
The Hopewell graduate doesn’t care if it comes via this week’s NFL Draft or signing as an undrafted rookie free agent- he just wants his chance to prove himself to a professional organization. The shot he’s hoping for is happening one year later than originally planned, as the pandemic forced the cancellation of his pro day last spring. After a strong career at Virginia Union, Taylor played an additional season at Notre Dame College in Ohio this past spring.
“The pandemic actually taught me to stay down, don’t force nothing and God’s timing,” Taylor noted. “You never know what’s going to happen out in this world so you stay down, stay focused and remain on target.”
The road to this point has been long and windy for Taylor. He was a standout at Hopewell, graduating in 2014 after a strong senior season that saw him rush for more than 2,000 yards. The initial plan was to attend Virginia Tech on a football scholarship, but he says ACT scores got in the way of that, so he enrolled at Atlanta Sports Academy to try and correct course academically. After sorting that out, along with some other off-the-field issues, Taylor’s road straightened out, as he got a fresh start at Virginia Union.
“I come from nothing, so all I know is grind,” the running back said. “That’s all I do. I work for what I want and I just believe- stay prayed up.”
Taylor made the most of his career with the Panthers, becoming one of the most dominant running backs in the CIAA. This past season during the spring, he averaged more than 200 yards per game for Notre Dame College and now finds himself on the doorstep of his NFL dream.
“I’ve thought about it every night,” Taylor remarked. “I’ve got family depending on me, I’ve got friends depending on me, so it’s way bigger than me. I take that all in and I know I’m the one. I’m the answer for that.”
No doubt the former Blue Devil has seen his fair share of ups and downs during the course of the last several years, but now he’s hoping his journey will include the chance to prove himself to an NFL team. His cousin, Darrell Taylor, was drafted by the Seahawks last year, and now the hope is to follow in his footsteps to football’s biggest stage. As for his story, Taylor hopes younger players in his community can learn from his experiences.
“Don’t give up. Chase your dream. It’s never too late to do anything. Don’t waste time, take advantage of time and keep pushing.”
The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday evening, second and third round selections will be made on Friday with the draft concluding on Saturday with rounds four through seven. Teams begin signing undrafted rookie free agents shortly after the draft is completed.
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