Taylor's Long Road

Junior Taylor, the freshman wide receiver, talks about how gratifying it is to play in his first college game after the long road to get here...

It's going to be your first college game, and it's been a pretty long road to get here...

"It's been a long road and I've been waiting for a while. I'm really excited for it."

Will you be nervous, being your first college game?

"I'm not the type that gets too nervous. But it's always good to have butterflies. But it's more just the excitement and the expectation you're going to play a football game that I'd get for any game. This will be my first game in a Bruin uniform at the Rose Bowl, so I'm looking forward to it and expecting I might be more excited than for another game."

Are you going to take a moment to appreciate it?

"I'm going to take a moment and soak it all in. I've been through a lot to get here. So, I'm going to take quick moment, say a little prayer, since it was a long road in getting here. But I think I'll know by looking around the Rose Bowl that I'm here, and I can enjoy it now."

Is your family coming?

"The list is ten right now. But it could grow. It's going to be a big day for my whole family. My family has been looking forward to it for a while."

Have the coaches indicated what kind of role you might play in this game?

"They haven't said too much about that. They just tell me to keep practicing well. You never know what happens in a game. It's a long game, you could go in at anytime. They could put me in there. So, we'll see."

Have you established a good timing rhythm with the quarterbacks?

"I feel good with all the quarterbacks. It's important to keep that timing. When the game starts it's a whole diffferent speed, and I have to make sure I'm up to that speed and ready to go. But yeah, Cory and I have worked a little extra to get some timing down on some plays."

How do you get yourself up to game speed?

"It's hard to say. At practice, you can never ever get to game speed. It's almost impossible. There are so many factors in a game that you don't get in practice no matter how you try to simulate it. You get that pass rush, the quicker rhythm, everything. Game speed feels twice as fast. You just have to get yourself mentally ready to go at that speed."

Have you set goals for yourself for the season?

"I really haven't sat down yet, I'll probably do it during this weekend. But first, I want to just be able to contribute to this team in anyway I can. Special teams, offensively playing receiver. Being on the sideline, having that extra depth. But like with any player, I want play. I want to do some big things for this team and help this team win."

Has coming in last spring helped you? Do you feel more comfortable with the offense than you think you would have?

"Definitely. It makes a big difference. I'm pretty comfortable knowing what I'm doing. Every once in a while I get yelled at. I have a brain freeze every once in a while, when I get caught up in the moment. But I think I have all the plays, all the calls, all the checks, everything."

Who's the toughest guy to go up against in practice?

"Ricky all the way. He's just so physical. You have to know when you go to his side be prepared. If he's in bump, you're going to have to fight to get off the line just to get your route started. He's very aggressive. He's the best player on the team."

How would it be to score a touchdown in your first game?

"It would be amazing. It felt great in just that little redzone touchdown I scored in the scrimmage. It feels great to score. And I can't even imagine how it would feel to score in this game. It would be a feeling that I don't think I'd be able to describe. It's college football. It's my first college game. It'd be a dream come true."

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