JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — In a Sports Zone conversation, Samaria Terry sits down with Jackson State offensive coordinator T.C. Taylor.
They went out to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, a place where he once suited up for the Tigers.
“I think I just accepted one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, offensive coordinator here at Jackson State,” Taylor said.
At Jackson State, Taylor suited up as both a quarterback and a wide out for Tigers. In his senior season he broke the JSU single-season record with 84 receptions for 1,234 yards and 11 touchdowns. And, was also runner-up for the 2001 Conerly Trophy.
He was promoted to offensive coordinator back in November after leading the quarterbacks for a season.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in, being a former player here. I’ve never thought I would be back here as a coach. I never saw myself doing that. It’s like a dream come true.”
“The thing that kind of still gets me is coming out at the Vet, walking out here on the field for pregame it brings back a lot of memories of a lot of good games I played in out here, being with some great teammates, great teammates that I played with. That’s still the part that I’m trying to grasp right now.”
The biggest stories coming out of Jackson State last fall centered around the quarterbacks, especially Jalon Jones, a four star transfer from the University of Florida.
“Jalon had so much good happening to him up to that point, going through high school, he was dominant in high school, you sign with Florida then you get here and now you’re actually playing football. And some bad things happen here and there, can you overcome your mistakes. And that’s the thing, I think his expectations was so high once he got here and when we made those mistakes at times he had trouble trying to over come them. That part, I think, he just has to grow moving to his sophomore year as a player.”
“As far as the talent level, yes he can do it. He showed some flashes last year against Alabama A&M, had a strong game but he’s got to go out there and show us he can execute the plan and also win over his teammates and continue to grow as a leader.”
Taylor says being a former player himself showed him how to help his players overcome adversity and sometimes disapproval from fans.
“The stars are gone. There’s no more 4-star, that’s stuff you did previously. It’s all about what you do from this point on. And he has to understand, I played here, I know how the fans can be. You want to do well, but you have to be conscience that you want to do it for the team on the sideline. As long as we getting a win at the end of the day, you being a good teammate, a good leader, that’s all that matters. Don’t try to live up to expectations of the crowd, just go out there, I say from week to week, execute the plan, surrender the me for the we. That’s the mentality we’re going to have moving forward. And that’s what I try to preach to him.”
And, something he preaches to everyone in the quarterbacks room.
“You don’t want to promise anyone anything moving forward. You want to create that competition in the room. We got some guys in there that can play football. I still like Matt Little, I still like Quincy [Kasey], I love Jalon, so all of those guys are great teammates to each other. It’s a great room of competition and I’m looking forward to getting them in there this spring and seeing how this thing turns out.”