September 20, 2020

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Diamond In The Rough: Karl Taylor

Karl Taylor is a well-rounded free safety from Midland Lee, Texas. Watching Karl play, he exhibits good awareness and is involved in the play often and he aggressively pursuits the ball carrier once he recognizes the play. When he drops into coverage, he has good lateral mobility and his hips swivel smoothly, giving him the ability to cover a lot of ground without slowing down. This is further shown by his ability to run a 4.5 flat forty-yard dash. Karl is 6’1” 180 pounds and has a good frame where he can put on some more weight if he needs to. Karl is physical tackler with the ability to go high or low, and just has a knack for bringing people to the ground. Off the field his play is reflected in the weight room where he benches 225 pounds squats 425 and power cleans 255. In the classroom Karl is an excellent student with a 3.5 GPA.

When did you start playing football?

I started playing flag when he was about three. I did not start tackle until I was in third grade. I started because my family loves football and I was always around it when I was a kid. My dad also played at Lee, so I am a second generation there. It is funny, I used to play quarterback my freshman year, but our corner got hurt. I asked coach for a chance to play, and he gave it to me. Later in the season our free safety got hurt, so I moved there.

What is your favorite thing about football?

You get to assault people and not get in trouble for it, it is part of the reason I play why I like safety so much. Hitting people relieves the stresses I get from everyday life, so it is a nice outlet.

What qualities or values make you the player you are?

I am a well-rounded player, I can cover well, I am good at tackling, I can scan read the field and have good instincts. There is not a weakness to my game.

What are your hobbies outside of football?

I like the outdoors, I like to hunt, fish, and barbeque. I am just a normal country boy from West Texas.

At what moment did you realize you loved football?

My first practice, I was exposed to a competitive environment and fell in love with it. I like showing off my ability. In my eigth grade year specifically we did good, and that is when I knew for sure that football was not just a game.

What has football taught you off the field?

Football has shaped me into a man, doing all the little things correct like being respectful, always work hard in everything I do, and paying attention to details. Football has developed my character and matured me more than most people my age. Most importantly football has taught me to try and positively impact the world.

Has football helped you overcome anything in your personal life?

Some days in life are hard, takes frustrations and stress away, being around a team going through the same struggles as me. It is a special bond

Who is your biggest role model?

My dad, he shaped me into the man am I am today. He has always been there for me. Whenever I have a problem, I can trust and rely on him to help me in any way he can.

What is your intended major in college?

I have a lot of different interests, so I am not sure yet, I am considering business management, or kinesiology, or mechanical engineering.

Do you model your game after anyone?

I have been a fan Jamaal Adams, Brian Dawkins, I try to take little things from them, but I try to be myself, and play my type of football. 

What is the easiest and hardest part of playing Safety?

The easiest for me is seeing the whole field, football is a big field, but experience helps, and every play and every practice it gets easier to me. It is to the point where it is a sixth sense. The hardest is covering run pass options, there is some much that can happen, and I have a lot of responsibilities on them. I do a good job on them though.

Do you see yourself as a leader on the team?

I do, I was made a captain last year as a junior which was an honor, It is not often when a junior becomes a captain. It was such an honor and matured me because I had a whole team looking up to me. Me and the other captains have a mutual respect and we lead the team in the right direction.

What is your favorite play?

Any type of safety blitz for me, I do not get to blitz often, so when I do, I try to make it count. Offensively there is a package where I go in as a quarterback. We use it in short yardage situations, and I have scored a twice from it this year.

What is your favorite part of playing safety?

Safety is a well-rounded position; I get to be a part of every aspect of defense. I get to cover, blitz, lineup in the box, outside. The position is versatile, and I enjoy that.