Taylor made for Samford

Published 9:07 pm Thursday, April 16, 2009

Straughn’s Ryne Taylor will join the Samford University football team in the fall as a preferred walk-on.

Taylor, at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, helped lead his football team to the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs last fall and was named the 2008 Andalusia Star-News All-County Player of the Year by football coaches in the county.

Taylor was 121-for-213 passing for 1,673 yards last season, with 15 touchdown passes and an average of 152.1 passing yards per game.

In addition, Taylor was selected to play in the North-South football game in Huntsville on July 17.

Taylor said the main reason why he chose Samford was that he felt “at home” on campus.

“I honesty felt like of all the schools I looked at that, Samford was where I felt most at home,” Taylor said. “I basically grew up (in Birmingham).

“I really like the coaching staff and felt like that that was the place that I was being led to,” he said.

Taylor said he was considering playing for Birmingham-Southern College and Huntingdon College as well.

“I just felt like Samford was the place for me,” he said.

Taylor said he made up his decision to play at Samford at the end of March because he wanted to wait as long as possible to really figure out where he wanted to go to school.

“I like the fact that it is a small private school and obviously known for its academics,” Taylor said. “They’re going to bring a brand new facility (Cooney Family Field House) on campus and they have a lot of good things going on.

“They have good competition going into the conference and I felt like that that was what I wanted to be involved with,” he said.

As a preferred walk-on, Taylor will have to compete for a football scholarship at Samford. He said he is “confident that in a year or two that I can get that scholarship.”

Taylor said his father, who is the head football coach at Straughn High School, let him make the decision to play at Samford on his own.

“He’s kind of stayed out of it,” he said. “Being underneath him as a coach and as a father figure, I was looking for something like that at the next level because that’s what I’ve been around. He never once said, ‘I want you to go here or there.’”

Samford recruiting coach Ross Robinson said the football program is looking for great things to come with Taylor joining the team.

“We are excited about Ryne joining our Samford football team and expect great things from him in the future,” Robinson said. “Not only is he an outstanding athlete, but he is also truly a great person.”

Taylor is the son of Trent and Patty Taylor of Andalusia.