JONESBORO, Ark. (KTHV) - College football players need a variety of skills like strength, speed, and intelligence. Arkansas State’s Blaise Taylor is a prime example of the total package on the field.
“A lot of time you have a book smart guy that doesn’t have a good football IQ that doesn’t have that common sense," said Head coach Blake Anderson. "He’s that rare combination of both.”
Funny enough, he almost never set foot on campus in Jonesboro. Taylor had opportunities at Stanford and Vanderbilt. But A-State’s defensive backs coach Trooper Taylor didn’t have to sell him hard on the Red Wolves.
“Everybody always has their dream school and everything like that but I always wanted to go to the school where my dad is coaching at,” Taylor said, explaining his decision to become a Red Wolf.
Taylor has always been in the right hands with his family and as college approached he had a goal quite frankly to nearly every college student, let alone football player is unrealistic.
That goal? Earning two degrees in three years.
“Growing up I was around a lot of college athletes and had a lot of conversations and when their football careers came to an end a lot of them had regrets about how their time off the field at their universities and things like that," Taylor said. "I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t one of those guys and I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity that I had.”
Entering his fourth season at Arkansas State, he’s completed a Bachelor’s degree in business and a Master’s in business administration. The fastest to do so in FBS college football history. Taylor’s accomplishments in the classroom have received praise from thousands, including Cowboys All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Taylor’s father and A-State defensive backs coach Trooper said he’s inspired thousands.
“Other student athletes have taken notice and that’s what’s really impressive," his father said. "Not just college players but high school and junior high. People that have retweeted it or reached out to us. They’ve seen it that he’s worked hard and being rewarded for it. So if he can do it, they can do it.”
“The people have been great, I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I’m really looking forward to the season coming up," Taylor said.
Taylor also created his own non-profit organization, The Power of One and Two, designed to work with underprivileged children.