Devin: Okay Taurean, ready to get started?
Taurean: Let’s go!
Devin: What does your normal day look like? Starting from when you wake up.
Taurean: I wake up, shower, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, go to school, work out, two practices after school, come home and eat dinner, shower, spend time with my family and go to sleep. I don’t play the game like that.
Devin: That’s great. You’re very focused and motivated, it's impressive. What do your work outs usually look like? Taurean: When I work out, I work out everything. I can’t just work out arms, or work out just legs. It has to be all or none. It makes me feel that i’m missing something if I only do arms or only legs.
Devin: I understand that, you always want to make sure you complete your workout. It’s impressive to see how much discipline you have as well. What motivates you to keep working harder?
Taurean: I have no offers, I have no stars, but more than anything; I want to win. I love winning. Winning makes me feel as if I am on top of the world. The feeling of winning is exhilarating and can’t be matched.
Devin: Offers and stars will come, you’re a great player and recognization is going to happen soon. Winning should always be #1, it doesn’t surprise me that you love winning so much. Watching your film, you can tell you really study and care for the game. I saw you’ve went to a couple of camps this summer already (Houston,TCU),
what other camps are you attending? Do any of them stand out to you in a certain way?
Taurean: I go to Oklahoma on the 12th of June, but i’m really excited to go Ohio State on the 22nd. It’s the day after my birthday and Ohio State is my dream school, so it’s like a win win for me.
Devin: What do you take away most from the camps?
Taurean: The relationships I build with the coaches, as well as walking away from the camp knowing I did the best that I could do.
Devin: That’s a great answer. You mentioned Ohio State being your dream school, what other schools stand out to you?
Taurean: Alabama because of the winning culture and Clemson because coaches rarely leave. That shows how good of an atmosphere that Clemson has. It shows that Coach Swinney’s staff respects and enjoys being around him.
Devin: Those are amazing schools and
great reasons why they stand out. At the pace you're going, they should look your way in no time at all. While watching your film, you seem to be the leader of your defense. What does it take to be the leader of the defense?
Taurean: You just have to be vocal and not be scared of your teammates. A lot of people are scared to be leaders, so they shy away from being the bad guy to their teammates. Not me though, I’m not scared of my teammates. They’ve grown to respect me over these past two years, so I got a good grip on my teammates now.
Devin: I can definitely tell they trust you and that you are communicating with them. You’re a great leader. What do you think it took to gain their respect on and off the field?
Taurean: They saw my work ethic, and they saw how much I want it in this game. They can either match my intensity, or get out of the way. When they see me working, it inspires them to push themselves even harder.
Devin: It’s always important to push your teammates so you can all get better as a team. It seems like you guys do an amazing job at staying together and connected. How did it feel to be named Division 12 6A 2020 Defensive POY?
Taurean: It felt great, because Dave Campbell's magazine didn’t pick me to win it! They picked a kid I've never heard of before and I took it personal, so I just kept working hard. To hear that it was an unanimous decision, I was so happy because that was my dads goal was for me to get the defensive MVP. My dad played a big role in pushing me to work for the MVP.
Devin: That’s amazing! Especially since it was unanimous. Looking at your film and stats, it’s very understandable why you won! What are some of the things your dad did to push you to work harder for the MVP award?
Taurean: He just kept telling me go harder and that I need to impose my will on my opponent and always make sure when I hit them, they don’t want to carry the ball in my hole anymore.
Devin: Your dad gave you amazing advice and it obviously worked well, as the film speaks for its self. What do you think your strengths are as a player?
Taurean: My biggest strength is my ability to know the play before it even happens, due to my film study. Another strength is putting my teammates in position to make a play.
Devin: How often are you watching film? Do you study your game off any specific player? What makes you have the ability to put your teammates in the right position to make the play (other than having studied film)?
Taurean: I watch film all the way up until game time. I’m just trying to find any way to get over to my teammate. I like to watch Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis film. Just knowing the teams tendencies helps me help my teammates.
Devin: That’s great, Taurean. What do you think your weaknesses are as a player?
Taurean: I would say height, but I can’t control that, so I wouldn’t consider that a weakness I can work on. My speed is probably my biggest weakness. I’m working on it a lot though, I’m down to a 4.65 which is great improvement from what it was before.
Devin: You can excel despite your height, you’ve shown that already my man. What was your 40 time before you started working on it? What are you doing to improve your time?
Taurean: It went from a 4.92, to a 4.89, to a 4.79, to a 4.65. I just ran track and excelled at it. Every week I ran at a meet and got faster.
Devin: That’s great to hear, and a very impressive jump so far. I know you will continue to improve it. Are there any certain/specific drills you are doing currently to help improve your speed?
Taurean: I just run as hard as I can just to improve my speed. I haven’t really done a lot of speed specific drills.
Devin: Okay I understand that. One last question before I let you go, what type of player will a school be getting if they land you?
Taurean: The school that gets me will get a player who is relentless, smart, and most importantly a winner. I won’t stop until I get what I want. I’m the hardest worker in every room that I step in. I want to walk away from the game being the best player on the planet.
Devin: That’s an amazing answer! I definitely would agree. You’re an amazing young man and you’re going to go do big things as long as you keep working hard, which I know you will. Thank you for spending the time to talk to me, Taurean. I would love to stay updated on your camps, how your summer goes and how your next season will be. Hopefully we can chat later on during the season to connect again.
Taurean: Most definitely! I appreciate this more than you know! I’ll definitely keep you in the loop of things!
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