Top 50 Hokie Spotlight: Tyrod Taylor
On a sunny September afternoon in Blacksburg, Tyrod Taylor and the Hokies were on the ropes. The opponent that day was Nebraska, a stout defensive team led by one of the nation’s most dominant players, Ndomukong Suh. With a minute and a half to play and down 5, Taylor looked past the menacing Cornhusker defense to the 88 yards of green grass between him and the game winning touchdown. The rest is Hokie legend.
Greg Boone ran a 15 yard hook route on the right hash mark, luring the attention of the weak-side safety. Taylor scrambled left, then scrambled right. And at the last moment, he unleashed the ball down the right sideline, just as Suh was crashing in. Danny Coale caught the ball in stride and raced to the 3 yard line. A few plays later and Taylor was scrambling again, but this time found Dyrell Roberts in the endzone for the game winning touchdown.
"Tyrod did it, Mikey! Tyrod did it!"
That sunny September day will be venerated in Tech history for generations, but it’s far from Taylor’s only accomplishment.
The 757 native was one of the few 5 star recruits to ever choose the Hokies, and he lived up to the hype. Over his career, Taylor threw for over 7,000 yards and 44 touchdowns while also adding over 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns with his dynamic running. He led the Hokies to 34 wins and only 8 losses, 3 ACC Championships, and two major bowl victories. He won ACC Player of the Year in 2010, and left Blacksburg as the winningest QB1 in school history.
Taylor’s impact reaches far beyond the field. Taylor started his non-profit, The Tyrod Taylor Foundation, to help youth development in communities. His foundation has done everything from coat drives to football camps. Last year, Taylor’s foundation served meals to the Cleveland community with the help of his Browns teammates. Recently, he donated $25,000 to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in the Hampton Roads area to help local communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taylor has also found time to pursue his passion for high-end fashion. In 2017, Taylor was named one of the Top 50 most fashionable men in sports by Sports Illustrated. He regularly models on Instagram from designers and can be found at fashion shows in Paris, Milan, New York, and his new home of Los Angeles. He even has his own line of eyeglasses with Frame Genie, the T2 Collection.
The Los Angeles Chargers, Taylor's new team, put together an album of some of his best fits, here: https://www.chargers.com/photos/fashion-feature-tyrod-taylor
The Chargers have pinned Taylor as their week 1 starter this season. Taylor is not only one of the most successful collegiate quarterbacks in Tech history, but he’s also one of the most prestigious current pros. Taylor’s TD to Int ratio of 2.7 is 5th best among active NFL quarterbacks, and one of the best in the history of the league.
Taylor’s legacy as a Hokie is just as much about his endearing personality as his on-field accolades. His vibrant smile can be seen on the Hokies’ sideline from time to time, and has continued to embody Ut Prosim throughout his career. However, that sunny September afternoon in 2009 will live on in Hokie legend forever. Taylor’s number 5 may very well be flying high above the North Stands someday.
(title image via The Daily Press)