NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Taylor Tappin, OL, Sacramento State University
• Name: Taylor Tappin
• Height: 6’ 5”
• Weight: 305 lbs
• Position: OL
• College: Sacramento State
• Twitter: @TapTackle51
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
• I’m from Windsor, California. It’s in Sonoma County which is one of the best places to live in the world. The weather is great and the landscape is beautiful. I’ve also lived in the same house my entire life other than college, so I have a lot of memories and personal connections to the area as well as the people there.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
• I think Film Study is first because in my experience, if you’re not 100% sure of what you are doing on the field, there’s no way you can go full speed because you’ll be hesitant and second guess yourself. I think strength and conditioning is next because if you are not in shape, you can’t get the work done in practice that you need to. Practicing while tired results in bad habits. Practice then would be third because without film study and good strength and conditioning you can’t perform at a high level and form the good habits that you want.
What do you worry about, and why?
• I sometimes worry about what kind of example I set. I have two younger brothers and I enjoy working with kids so I often base my decision making on what I think would make a good example for them.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
• During my third semester at college, I didn’t pass two of my classes. This was a first for me as I was an above average student coming out of high school, but that semester I really started going against my ways and falling into bad habits. I ended up having to take summer school and having to crash a whole new set of classes in the spring. I forced myself into good habits and got my school work done and now I’m scheduled to get my Civil Engineering degree this May.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
• My jokes! No that’s not true. The long standing joke on our team was that 1 out of every 10 of my jokes was actually good, so I decided to just tell way more jokes (most awful). But really I think my best quality from the perspective of my teammates would be my work ethic. I worked extremely hard at football to get where I am and I think it showed in workouts and on the field.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
• That’d have to be Joe Mathis from Washington. I actually had my first start against him in high school my junior year. Let’s just say that wasn’t a fun game. When I played him again in college it was my redshirt freshman year so I didn’t play as much but he and another former opponent of mine, Elijah Qualls decided to level me on a field goal since I was the tight end that year on field goal. No I didn’t get to go on routes though.
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
• Well I’m getting my degree in civil engineering so I will go into that field. I’m most interested in bridge design, water resources and land development. Later on I want to teach and coach in high school.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
• Room. When I clean my room I just end up throwing a lot of stuff on my desk anyway and I never feel like walking out to my car when I’m at home.
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
• I’d probably choose the family member because
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
• Superman. I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. I even wanted to be a military pilot when I was younger but then I ended up being too big.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
• I’ve always seen myself as under rated. When I was younger I sort of figured I was just average but around the end of high school was when I started realizing I was really good at football but I didn’t have a lot of colleges looking at me. I’m kind of in the same position now where I came from a small school and not very many people know me, but I’ve been working hard and come pro day I think a lot of coaches are going to know who I am.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
• During the southern Utah game my junior year, our defense picked off a ball and returned it for a touchdown, so I thought. Really we were down at the 7 but since I thought we scored, I was out on the field for field goal. I only realized we hadn’t scored when the Thunderbird defense came on the field and I was alone and one guy said, “What’s this big guy doing over here?” At that point I looked at my sideline where the offense was huddled and they were yelling at me to come over. I just hope not too many people in the stands noticed.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
• My junior year during the causeway classic, I was pulling to lead block for our quarterback when we were on about the 5. I picked up my guy as I turned the corner and drove him nearly to the back of the end zone while my quarterback, Kevin Thomson fought through a tackle to score right behind me,
What song best describes your work ethic?
• Juke Box Hero by Foreigner. I’ve been in love with the game my whole life and always looked up to NFL players. Now I’m going to do everything in my power to be one.
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
• Coachability. By that I mean being able to take correction from coaches and adjust your technique accordingly. If guys are coaching in the NFL, I think they know what they’re doing and I’ll do whatever they say will make me a better player.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
• I’d bring back my strength coach who passed away just before my sophomore year, Jeff Law. He was a younger guy, only about 6 or 7 years older than me and he was also really into a lot of the same stuff as me like Star Wars and superheroes, most especially Batman. He also really helped kick start my motivation in the weight room. I’d want to bring him back so I could talk about all the movies that have come out in the last 4 years and how college went, just kind of as
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
• Tap’s Place. It’s got a nice ring to it.
Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
• Michael Thomas. I barely knew who he was but he showed up for me in fantasy this year so I’ll go with him.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
• Respected. Respect comes more from the things you do than from who you are. People are all different and not everyone will like who you are. That’s something I think a lot of people struggle with getting over. But I think we can all think of someone who may not be the most liked but is respected for their accomplishments. Tom Brady is a good example of that.
What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
• This is an old one, but Ernie Davis. I think a lot of people forget about his accomplishments because he died of leukemia before ever playing in the NFL, but as the first black Heisman winner and someone who would’ve had a great career, it’s just sad that he missed out on so much.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
• I hate to lose. Losing isn’t ok to me and that’s pretty rough to live with as an offensive lineman. I’ve had games where I played my best football and lost by 30 and it eats away at me. I’ve come to decide that there are some things I can’t control and I won’t worry about those, but when it comes to the things I can control, I’m doing everything I can to win.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
• That’d be my father. He’s the one who really grew my love of all sports from an early age. I only started playing in high school, but I consider a life time football player because of him.