For Auburn signee Rudy Taylor, the chance to smack the opposition, whether he is on offense or defense, is the fun part of the game. Mark Guandolo, head coach at Chaminade Madonna Prep, says that the 6-1, 250-pound Taylor reminds him of Dick Butkus, the long-time Chicago Bears star in the NFL.
Guandolo says that Taylor is a fierce competitor known for his pancake blocks on offense and he is equally tough as a linebacker. He led his team in tackles with 125. Taylor says that he thrives on being physical and adds, "I feel like I have got to go out there and prove myself every time I go on the field."
The Tigers discovered Taylor rather late in the recruiting process and brought him to Auburn for an official visit the last weekend in January. Taylor liked what he saw on that trip and waited for a call from the Tigers, which came on Wednesday, and he signed scholarship papers with AU, choosing Auburn over Michigan State, West Virginia, Ball State, Western Michigan and Wake Forest." There were a lot of schools I was thinking about," Taylor says.
"To tell you the truth, I like the people and the coaches at Auburn," he adds. "I mean, the people that were there I felt more at home with than anything. I felt welcome."
On the football field, Taylor says he feels equally at home on offense or defense. His coach says that Taylor could be a middle linebacker or fullback at Auburn. Taylor says it doesn't matter to him where he plays. "I like both," he says. "There are advantages to both sides of the ball. On offense you have a chance to score a touchdown and make big plays. On defense you get to wipe people out so there are advantages on both sides of the ball."
A four-year starter, he was an All-State performer as a senior as he helped his team to a 14-1 record and a runnerup finish to Jacksonville Bolles for the state 2A state championship. Taylor also wrestles and plays baseball.
He bench presses 315 pounds, squats 365 and power cleans 250 pounds.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Taylor says he is interested in majoring in physical therapy or sports medicine...One of the football player's hobbies is helping coordinate Christmas toy drives for needy children...Taylor was one of the top performers in the annual Dade-Broward All-Star game. He played guard in that contest.