Monday, April 1st, we remember Sean Taylor, one of the greatest safeties ever to play the game of football. April 1st would’ve been Sean’s 36th birthday, so I decided to take a look back at the top-10 plays and moments from his incredible career at The U.
Keep in mind that these aren’t in any kind of order, all of them are incredible plays.
10. Coming in at the 10th spot is Sean’s punt-return against Pitt in 2002 on a glorious night in the Orange Bowl. Receiver Roscoe Parrish fielded the punt, and then reversed it to Taylor coming across the field, who then took it 78 yards to the house for a Miami touchdown.
9. We’re going with another return during Taylor’s career, this time against Florida in 2003. Although this one didn't go for a touchdown, Sean’s pure athleticism and ability to break tackles almost makes this return an even better highlight than the previous. Devin Hester had returned the previous kickoff for a touchdown, so the Gators thought that kicking it away from Hester would prevent another big return. So they thought....
8. At number-eight on the countdown, we go back to the 2002 regular season, when Sean hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass from punter Freddie Capshaw on a fake-punt against Syracuse. To me what sticks out on this particular play, is how Taylor seems to just glide through the Orangemen defense and frankly just looks so much bigger than anyone else on that field.
7. The next play on this countdown came in the 2002 National Championship Game against Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl. Buckeyes quarterback Craig Krenzel launched a pass deep downfield into double-coverage, and Taylor made one of the more incredible interceptions you’ll ever see. Now if Miami was able to win this game, then this probably would’ve been higher on this list.
6. As we continue, we go to Miami versus Rutgers in 2003, in what would be Sean’s final home game in the Orange Bowl. In one of the greatest single seasons ever by a safety in college football, Taylor kept adding on to his stats with this 44-yard interception return for a touchdown.
5. Another pick-six for 26 coming in at the fifth spot, also in the 2003 season. On a night in Chestnut Hill against Boston College, Taylor intercepted a pass in the second quarter and took it 67-yards for a Canes touchdown.
4. For my fourth play, I'm actually doing two plays. In these back-to-back highlights, we’re able to see Taylor deliver two bone-crushing hits on a poor lineman from Temple and then a receiver on Rutgers, both plays coming from the 2002 season.
3. Sean was an absolute nightmare for FSU, and the final plays on this list are all against the Seminoles. At number-three, quite possibly the most famous college hit of Sean’s career, 2002 in the Orange Bowl. Noles quarterback Chris Rix throws down the middle for receiver P.K. Sam and Taylor puts Sam into a helicopter motion.
R.I.P. Sean Taylor.— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) November 27, 2018
I have never seen a safety who hit like him.
P.K. Sam is still feeling this one: pic.twitter.com/boTbyWduNi
2. In his final game as a Hurricane, of course it comes against the Seminoles. This time, Miami and FSU met in the FedEx Orange Bowl in the final game of the 2003 season. Going up against Chris Rix one last time, Taylor picked off the quarterback early in the first quarter.
- For the greatest Sean Taylor moment as a Miami Hurricane, I decided to choose his entire performance against FSU in 2003. On a rain-soaked Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Taylor gave us one of the greatest single-game defensive showcases in Miami history. That day, Sean picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown, recovered a blocked-punt and was constantly in the Seminoles backfield.
So today, take some time to remember the great Sean Taylor, and be sure to wish him a happy birthday.