Whenever Marshall’s defense takes the field the opposing offense is certainly going to take note of where number 99 is lined up. It’s hard not to. Vinny Curry has garnered a lot of preseason attention and is arguably The Herd’s best player. With the attention that Curry will demand, drawing double teams, running backs chipping on him, and offenses running away from him, it will certainly open up opportunities for the opposite side of the defense to make plays.
Enter Jeremiah Taylor. The former walk-on from just across the river in South Point, Ohio has emerged during preseason camp as the favorite to play opposite Curry and he’s up to the task.
“Coach talks about competitive excellence and making a play when it comes your way,” says Taylor. “So I’m going to be ready to make a play.”
Taylor appeared in 12 games last season but only recorded nine total tackles. For Taylor just getting the chance to suit up for the green and white is a dream come true. He graduated from South Point High School four years ago and decided to forgo college and enter the workforce to take care of his family. After working for a few years Taylor decided he wanted to go back to school, deciding to enroll at Marshall.
In 2009 then-head coach Mark Snyder tried to coax Taylor to join the Thundering Herd football team, but Taylor declined at first opting instead to get back into the flow of just being in school again. Even though Snyder was replaced after the 2009 season by Doc Holliday, Taylor still showed up to spring drills in 2010 and the coaching staff gave him a shot.
“It means a lot. I used to be able to hear the games from my house and to come here an play is amazing,” Taylor says. “Now that I’m on scholarship I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Head Coach Doc Holliday has been impressed with the progress Taylor has made since last year saying Taylor is an extremely talented and physical player. Holliday is not worried about offenses that think they can find success by running away from Vinny Curry.
“He’s a pretty good player too. I’m not worried about Jeremiah Taylor. He’ll be fine,” says Holliday.
Taylor is looking forward to the opportunity to show opponents exactly what he can do.
“I’ve got to do my job,” explains Taylor. “I’ve got to read my keys and go where I’m supposed to go. If I do that I’m confident in my ability.”