Pat Kinnison

Thoughts On Vincent Taylor Going Pro

It's been easy for Oklahoma State fans to root for Vincent Taylor, who of the nice guys off the football field, and now they'll be rooting for him to succeed in the NFL.

I wish Vincent Taylor the best. I certainly think he is a potential NFL player, and he had a great game in winning with Defensive MVP in the Cowboys 38-8 win over 10th-ranked Colorado in the Alamo Bowl.

He led the nation in blocked kicks, he led the Big 12's defensive tackles with sacks in seven this season, he led the Big 12 in defensive tackles with tackles for loss with 13.5 this season, and he showed his athleticism with several return situations this season on blocked kicks and interceptions. 

In the locker room after the win on Thursday, as head coach Mike Gundy was looking at me and telling our radio audience that he thought Taylor would announce next week and that he felt Vincent was staying, right behind him at the corner of the locker room where the defensive linemen were situated Taylor was hugging fellow defensive tackle Mote Maile. It didn't look as much celebratory as it looked like a goodbye and he kept going up to other players and showing similar sentiment. 

The bottom line is this, we all know Vincent Taylor is good, we all know he can be dominant on this level, but we also know that the NFL is a completely advanced form of the game. My hope is he is ready.

I've had scouts tell me he would be better served with another year in Rob Glass's weight room and another season of college football. That won't happen. I knew in talking to Vincent and then hearing from one of his teammates back in Stillwater, who spoke to me and asked me not to identify him, that Vincent was determined to go pro because his father, who had been dealing with agents, was determined he needed to and was ready to go to the NFL. 

My sincerest hope is that Vincent becomes one of the success stories in these situations. Every year a large number of underclassmen declare and more of them fail to reach the league than succeed. I believe in Vincent, most of us believe in Vincent Taylor. I truly hope the NFL believes and embraces Vincent Taylor. He is a very spirited and talented player, he is a very sincere and caring teammate, and he is overall a very good person.

Now, I hope he is a bad "***" in the NFL which at defensive tackle is a land of bad "***es". I know Vincent will be easy to root for as at Oklahoma State he has been really bad on the field, but one of the really good guys off of it.


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