Taylor Answers The Call At Football Scrimmage

Through spring practice Courtney Taylor has been emerging as a go-to-guy in the Tigers receiving core.

Auburn, Ala.--Earlier in the week Tigers' Offensive Coordinator Al Borges issued an open call to the receivers to step up and become playmakers. On Saturday in the second scrimmage of spring practice Courtney Taylor answered that call.

The redshirt sophomore, who was moved up to the first team at the beginning of the week, only caught three passes on Saturday, but two of them were for touchdowns. In total, Taylor gained 78 yards, which led all receivers.

Taylor says that the move up to the depth chart has already been a huge motivating factor for him. "I was thinking about it last night," he notes. "I was like, I am on first string now, so I have got to prove that I can play first-team level. All last night and early this morning I wanted to come out and just show what I could do."

On Saturday the Auburn offense was clicking early and was able to throw for 262 yards and rush for 349 yards. Taylor says having a big day like that was something that he and his teammates on the offensive side of the ball needed.

"It felt great because last week we got off to a slow start in the scrimmage," Taylor explains. "It was kind of sluggish, or whatever, but this week we came out firing on all guns. It just gives us more confidence in the offense. Because it is new there will always be a little doubt, but this right here just brings a little bit more confidence into the offense's play."

On the first drive of the scrimmage, Taylor juked corner Montavis Pitts out of his socks on a hitch route and pulled down a pretty pass from Jason Campbell. Then, Taylor fought through a couple of tackles and dove into the end zone to cap a nine-play, 70-yard drive.

"It was a running play at first and I think there was a blitz coming and Jason checked to a hitch route and we adjust against cover two," Taylor notes. "So, I kind of figured it was coming to me because I saw him (Pitts) come up and squat, so I just went on around and I said to myself, 'Just don't drop this ball.' So, I caught it and I said that I wasn't going to be denied the end zone."

For his second score of the day Taylor only needed one play. Starting at the 25-yard line in a situational format, Campbell put up a deep floater to Taylor in the corner of the end zone for the quick strike.

"They just bit on a play action," says Taylor, explaining how he got open on the play. "I saw the safety when he fell down. The corner, I think they were probably in cover two, his responsibility is the flat and I saw the safety come down and bite in on a play action and I knew if it was a decently thrown ball I was going to make the play."

Courtney Taylor sheds an attempted tackle by Junior Rosegreen on his way to the end zone.

With his performance so far this spring and on Saturday, Taylor has likely made himself the guy to beat for one of the wide receiver starting jobs.

"It's a great feeling," Taylor says about being number one on the depth chart. "I feel like I am working hard for it. I feel like I am competing for it everyday. The sad thing is that I am just going against my best friends, but that is life. It feels real good that I am being competitive and the coaches think that it is right for me to play first string."

Despite only playing in the Tigers' new offensive scheme for two weeks, the sophomore says he is very excited about the changes.

"I feel like it is a great offense," Taylor notes. "It has good crossing pattern routes, down the field routes. We are going to run it. We are going to pass it. He (Al Borges) emphasized that we are going to be balanced."

Taylor also notes that he sees a lot of potential in the way Borges' system is constantly attacking the middle of the field.

"By us attacking we will get a lot of one-on-one when we catch the ball," Taylor explains. "We get a chance to make guys miss in the open field and we really didn't get a lot of chances last year. We got a couple of chances, but you get a lot more chances in this offense in the open field to make guys miss and make plays."

Taylor says that he believes Saturday's session was a preview of what the Tigers' offense could and should look like when they hit the field in September.

"Like today, all of the receivers, everybody was making plays," he says "We really can't even complain. Devin (Aromashodu), he made a couple of nice plays and he made a couple of nice plays after the catch. Ben (Obomanu) made a couple of nice plays, as well as Anthony (Mix) and Silas (Daniels). So, I think there are going to be a lot of opportunities to make big plays this year and that is what we want."


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