Former Tiger Taylor Hopeful for the Future

Former Auburn wide receiver Courtney Taylor talks about life and the game of football.

Auburn, Ala.--The annual A-Day Game is always a great opportunity for alumni and fans to travel back to the Auburn campus to see old friends and get an opportunity to check out the prospects for the next football season.

It's not only fans who have that opportunity, but also former players. This past A-Day game was a special one on the Plains as the All-Decade Team from 2000-2009 was announced and celebrated for its achievements while playing for Auburn. One of the players who was honored was wide receiver Courtney Taylor.

Auburn's career receiving leader with 153 total catches, Taylor had a superb career for the Tigers with 2,098 yards and nine touchdowns over four seasons. His best year came in 2004 when he helped Auburn to a perfect 13-0 season with 43 catches for 737 yards and six touchdowns.

"It was great," Taylor says about being back in Auburn. "I had a chance to talk to Coach (Phillip) Lolley and a lot of the other guys. It was awesome to be back home. I feel like Auburn is home so it's always great."

Taylor is shown in action with Seattle.

Following his very successful Auburn career, Taylor was drafted in the sixth round by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2007 NFL Draft. Spending much of his first season on the practice squad, Taylor finally got some action late in his rookie season and wound up with five catches for 38 yards in eight games. He followed that season by playing in 10 games his second year, catching 9 passes for 98 yards.

Unfortunately things went downhill quickly for Taylor as he was dismissed from the Seattle roster before the 2009 season began. While many wondered how his game had left him so fast, Taylor knew the reason why as he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a year earlier.

Trying to play through and keep going, Taylor struggled to find the right medication to handle things and it impacted his play. While many would have pouted and felt defeated, that's not Courtney Taylor. He says he's only more determined than ever to prove himself in the NFL once again after a very tough three years since leaving Auburn.

"There has been pride and joy and there has been ups and downs," Taylor says. "My first couple of years were awesome. It has been a blessing. At the same time coming down with my illness it has been a struggle. At the same time everything happens for a reason. It has been a blessing.

"God put me in this situation and this spot to talk about it. It's alright to be scared because at the same time you can be fine. That has been my whole approach after year two. It has been to get back into shape while at the same time educate people about MS."

Now working hard to get another shot to prove himself in the National Football League, Taylor said at the moment all he can do is show others that are being overwhelmed by the disease that it's possible to turn it into a positive.

"I wake up and thank God every single day because I see what he wants me to do," Taylor says. "All this ability and talent that guys have is for a reason, to use it for something. I really feel like I've found my reason. That's the way I look at it."

No matter where football fits into his life on the playing field from this point forward, Taylor says he'll always keep a close eye on what the Tigers are doing. With Coach Gene Chizik at the helm and building on an impressive first season in 2009, Taylor notes the excitement level is building towards something big and he's ready to see what the future holds.

"It's awesome," Taylor says. "My time at Auburn we had great years and great fan support. To see it still going on. The leadership role has changed but the guys are doing a great job. With 60,000 fans at the game, it's awesome. You've got to be proud to be an Auburn Tiger."


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