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Hurricanes promote Jason Taylor to full-time assistant

The NFL Hall of Fame defensive end has been promoted to a full-time role coaching the ‘Canes defensive ends

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Pitt at Miami Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor has been promoted to defensive ends coach of the Miami Hurricanes. Taylor spend the 2022 season as a defensive analyst, working with the defensive ends in position meetings alongside former DE coach Rod Wright.

Taylor was one of the linchpin picks of the 1997 NFL Draft for the Miami Dolphins, along with cornerback Sam Madison. The six-foot-six, 242 pounder was taken in the 3rd round by Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson and immediately made the All-Rookie team in 1997. Madison and Taylor, along with soon-to-be inducted HOF linebacker Zach Thomas, were the Dolphins star players in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

Over 14 seasons as a pro Taylor became a three-time first-team All Pro, a one-time second-team All Pro, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the 2007 Walter Payton Man of the Year.

The two-time All-MAC Conference player logged 139.5 career sacks with nine career touchdowns in the NFL. Taylor played for the Dolphins three different times, as well as for Washington and the New York Jets.

After retiring from playing in 2011, Taylor began coaching at St. Thomas Aquinas in 2017. From 2017-2019, Taylor served as the defensive line coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

The Pros

One pro is that he’s a former pro. Taylor’s HOF ring and 14 seasons in the NFL bring a cache that not much else can. In Miami, Taylor has name recognition. It’s been a dozen years since his playing days have ended but “99” is still a beloved figure in Miami.

Another pro is that Taylor has the St. Thomas Aquinas (STA) connection. STA’s roster is typically loaded with D1 talent and sometimes, four and five star talent. Taylor’s connection to the program can’t hurt recruiting those STA Blue Chip players.

2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Taylor had been coaching high school for five years prior to coming to the Hurricanes. HS coaches are often creative, having to get the most out of guys going college in something other than sports- even at STA.

A former Walter Payton Man of the Year, Taylor is known for being a great human being. College football could use more great humans in their coaching ranks.

Unlike most of the coaching roster, Taylor was with the program in ‘22. Now that I think of it that might be a Pro and a Con as the team went 5-7 and the program culture wasn’t a positive place in ‘22 per many reports.

The Cons

The biggest “red flag” would be Jason Taylor’s longevity. Rumors swirled he was headed to the Miami Dolphins coaching staff prior to his promotion with the Hurricanes. Will Taylor be a Hurricane or a Dolphin in ‘24?

That aligns with another con, in ‘22 Taylor skipped a fall camp scrimmage for a Miami Dolphins preseason game. Is Taylor going to be all in for ‘23? Or will he still miss important camp scrimmages for his work with the Dolphins?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Florida State at Miami Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

His name recognition is great, It’s about more than that in this new era of recruiting. Is a millionaire former NFL HOF DE willing to grind out recruiting? Will Taylor spend hours upon hours hustling the hustlers that are high school handlers of Blue Chip prospects?

Prospects are in it to hear about them, not about your playing career. I know Cristobal is the main recruiting force- but NIL, street agents, handlers, etc are another animal in ‘23 and beyond.

As a position coach, he’ll be tasked with teaching the finer points of the game to 18 and 19 year old players. One of the hardest thing for uber-talented people to do is to teach people that aren’t as naturally gifted. Not every Hurricane has Taylor’s NFL caliber DNA.

The Wrap

Then again, it’s just a defensive end position coach gig. For now, Joe Salave’a is still the “defensive line” coach for the Hurricanes and can guide Taylor. Salave’a also played in the NFL for over 10 years and has been a college football coach since the 2008 season.

Taylor will have recruiting help from Cristobal, scheme help from experienced college DC Lance Guidry, and position room help from Big Joe. This is his first full-time assistant coaching gig in college football- welcome to the madhouse, JT. We can review this hire in 12 months.