I know I"m late but its always a sad day when someone dies too young. Redskins Pro Bowl Safety Sean Taylor died early this morning after being shot in his Miami home Sunday night. He was 24.
The first time I saw Sean Taylor was during the Florida State Football Championships in 2000. My Venice team was playing Friday night and his Gulliver Prep team played Saturday afternoon. He was bigger than everyone else on the field it seemed like and he ran the ball, caught all five passes his team completed and played defense. He was every where for that team and led them to the 2A championship. My brother Nejay said to watch where this guy ends up, he's that much better than everyone out there.
My next memory of Taylor is as a sophomore safety at UM. After losing three first round picks from their defensive backfield, Taylor and his new backfield mates kept the tradition going of lockdown corners and playmaking safeties. During the 2002 FSU-UM game Taylor made a hit on Nole receiver P.K. Sam that Sam never recovered from that season. As Sam went over the middle he caught a pass and was immediately helicoptered by Taylor. I enjoy Stanford Samuels' hit on Roscoe Parrish the next year but Taylor's on Sam was just as ferocious. Taylor also for some reason was Chris Rix's favorite receiver during those games. The most impressive thing about Taylor was that in that 2002 season, he was bigger than all three of UM's starting linebackers, two of which were first round picks.
Taylor was the fifth overall pick to the Redskins after an All-American career at Miami. He was the new breed of safety. There weren't and still aren't safeties out there like him. He was big (6'3 230 pounds), ran and covered like a corner, and was one of the most violent hitters on the field. The Redskins defense is a different team with him on the field. Watch the Dallas game without him playing and the Cowboy recievers are running wild. With Taylor in there teams didn't venture in the middle for catches for fear of losing players.
My thoughts are with his family and his team.