Now's about the time when the NFL draft process starts to heat up.
One name to keep in mind in the coming months? Taywan Taylor. A senior wide receiver at Western Kentucky, Taylor has shattered nearly every school record available to a receiver. Over the last two seasons, he has 168 receptions for 2,859 yards and 31 touchdowns.
But plenty of college players post prolific stats, only to fizzle out at the next level. What really has pro scouts salivating is Taylor's otherworldly athleticism. Earlier this year, Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports named Taylor to his annual College Football Freaks list, putting him in the company of players like Jabrill Peppers and Myles Garrett. During WKU's spring testing, Taylor recorded an 11-foot-5-inch Broad Jump, a 39.5-inch Vertical and a 4.33 40-Yard Dash.
To put those numbers in perspective, let's compare them to results from last year's NFL Combine. An 11-foot-5 Broad Jump is 3 inches farther than any player jumped last year. A 4.33 40-Yard Dash would've tied for the third-fastest among all players. A 39.5-inch Vertical Jump would've ranked fourth among all receivers.
The numbers themselves are simply unbelievable—especially for a guy who was a zero-star recruit coming out of high school. The NFL Combine is famous for its scrutinization of players' physical attributes—another area where the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Taylor should excel. The Courier-Journal dedicated an entire article to his massive mitts (Taylor wears size XXL gloves). He also has long arms, a key attribute for pro receivers. "His arms were always so strong and long," Jason Hiser, his high school coach, told the Courier-Journal. "He might not have been 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3, but I always thought he had the reach of someone a lot taller."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Taylor is also a phenomenal basketball player. WKU head hoops coach Jeff Brohm first noticed his ridiculous athleticism at a high school basketball game. Once he found out he also played football, he knew he had to offer him a scholarship.
Remember the name Taywan Taylor—you'll likely be hearing it a lot soon.