Jackson State will begin its first season of the T.C. Taylor era in just under one month.
Despite returning just one of 12 All-SWAC players who competed under the leadership of former head coach Deion Sanders, Taylor is confident that the roster he’s built through recruiting and the transfer portal will put the Tigers in a good position by game one.
“We lost a lot to this thing called the transfer portal… but it works both ways because it was good to us, and it shows on the football field,” Taylor said on SportsTalk Mississippi. “We had the No. 1 HBCU recruiting class and were No. 2 in the FCS. That lets you know that a lot of people believe in the brand at Jackson State right now.”
Prior to being hired, Taylor was publicly endorsed by Sanders as the Pro Football Hall of Famer was on his way to Colorado University. Taylor was honored to be so highly thought of by Coach Prime, who became arguably the most prominent figure in HBCU football during his reign.
“It was a testament to all the hard work I put in while he was the head coach here,” Taylor told SuperTallk Mississippi News. “My work didn’t go unnoticed. It was good to hear him say, ‘I’m behind T.C. Taylor as the guy to lead this program.’”
In looking to make his own mark on the program, the Tigers’ new frontman has been given the tough task of finding a new signal-caller to replace Coach Prime’s son, Shedeur Sanders, who was named SWAC offensive player of the year on two different occasions.
“You’re talking about a two-time offensive player of the year at quarterback. The teams that are playing for championships at the end of the year are the guys that have the best quarterback,” Taylor added. “We’re trying to evaluate that position.”
Aside from making a change at quarterback, Taylor intends to instill values of toughness and physicality to have his team ready to battle by the time Jackson State kicks off the 2023 season against South Carolina State on Aug. 26.
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