Q&A with Recovering Rutgers OLB TJ Taylor

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers lost sophomore linebacker T.J. Taylor for the season with a torn ACL during spring practice. At media day, Taylor spoke for the first time about his injury, his recovery timetable and more. Could Taylor be back for spring practice in April?

Scarlet Report publisher Sam Hellman -- T.J., what are your goals this year after the knee surgery?

Rutgers sophomore linebacker T.J. Taylor -- “Right now, I’m getting better. My injury was a minor setback, but it’s always for a better purpose. I’m working hard in the weight room to put on that weight. I’m getting better every day with my knees. My time will come around the corner. I’ll be ready.”

SH -- How is the rehab going?

TT -- “I had my surgery in May, so six months from now I’ll be back on the field. Right now, I’m progressing. I’m seeing the doctor once every month so I can go on to the next level. I’m feeling great. To be honest, I can’t even tell that I’m hurt right now. It’s crazy how it works. They say you can’t play but you feel like you’re fine. Now I’m just getting stronger in my upper body and preparing myself.

SH -- You seem very positive about it. Do you feel any frustration with it? I know I would.

TT -- Yes, at times I do. Going out and seeing everybody else ready to practice … I just try to look at what I can do. Going out to practice and seeing everybody gets frustrating at times because I want to be out there so badly. I understand it’s a process.

SH -- On another topic, why do you think the connection between Rutgers and South Brunswick High School is so strong?

TT -- “I feel like the way things operate at South Brunswick is really similar to what happens at Rutgers. I feel like the transition is smooth because of the players we have already. They can relate to everything.”

SH -- Now that you’re in college, does proximity to home matter that much?

TT -- “Distance is a big factor. You can come up whenever you want for a visit or you can go home when you want as a player. Me personally, I’m always going back to tell the guys how great it is. Those guys feel like they’re at home when they come to Rutgers. They don’t feel out of place because they’re right down the street.”

SH -- You won a state title with coach Joe Goerge your senior year. That was at Rutgers. What’s he like now that a few of his guys are on the roster?

TT -- “He’s a great guy. He loves Rutgers. I see him a lot between workouts and practices. He comes by a lot with his coaches and his sons, the whole staff comes up. They want their team to be exactly how it is up here. He’ll tell you the truth. He doesn’t like to beat around the bush. College is a big decision and he tells it how it should be.”

SH -- How are the younger linebackers coming along?

TT -- “Good. Really good. I’m not out there at practice, but these guys are working hard and they’re definitely getting it. We’re going to have some pretty good linebackers this year.”

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