A common storyline among players that transfer to Iowa State’s basketball team is learning from previous mistakes. It continues this season with Bryce Dejean-Jones and his unraveled end at UNLV. That storyline will also continue with defensive end Trent Taylor.
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Taylor, who was featured in the Ames Tribune today by Bobby La Gesse, was a Florida prospect that withdrew his commitment to Miami (Florida) due to the ongoing legal problems surrounding the school in 2012. He switched over to one of the SEC’s traditional powers that has fallen on hard times, Tennessee.
From start to finish, and even afterwards, Taylor said that his time with the Volunteers was a disaster (via Ames Tribune).
"“I didn’t really have a good bond,” Taylor said. “I really wasn’t thinking as I committed to Tennessee.”"
Coming in as a 3-star prospect and a top 50 overall athlete in Florida, Taylor appeared in just two games with Tennessee (against Georgia State, at Vanderbilt) and recorded just one assisted tackle.
In order to be like [Shawn] Moorehead, Taylor must not only possess a quick first step, but the line as a whole needs to be exponentially better as a unit than it’s been in recent years.
As the chemistry never meshed between Taylor and Tennessee, perhaps the end of the Derek Dooley era played a part. Dooley was on a red-hot seat entering his third season with the team, and was fired before the season was over after going 15-21 since 2010.
What made the situation even worse was legal problems coming his way (via Ames Tribune).
"Taylor was charged in Tennessee with possession of a controlled substance after leaving the team.“I just got caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Taylor said. “I was able to beat the case. They just dropped it.”"
Now as a JUCO transfer, Taylor has one goal — to set Iowa State’s sack record. Shawn Moorehead set the record with 8.5 sacks in one season back in 2006. After redshirting the first season and being a squad member in his second, Moorehead had 18.5 sacks overall in his last three seasons and recorded 3.5 total sacks in both bowl games.
In order to be like Moorehead, Taylor must not only possess a quick first step, but the line as a whole needs to be exponentially better as a unit than it’s been in recent years. If not, Taylor will be stuck trying to patch up a defense rather than honing in on an opposing quarterback.
Even if he isn’t able to get many sacks, he’s at least willing to be versatile on the line. That’s a mindset everybody on that line needs to have coming into this season. If Taylor can become a leader on the defensive line, he’ll certainly win fans over, and that will be another step in moving on from his mistakes in the past.