Woodland Hills High graduate Jason Taylor had one of the most NFL careers productive careers of anyone from Western Pennsylvania.
Prior to getting enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2017, his first year of eligibility, Taylor had a 15-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and New York Jets. During that time, he collected 139.5 sacks (7th most all-time), 46 forced fumbles (4th most) and was the all-time leader in fumble recoveries for touchdowns (6) and touchdowns for a defensive lineman with 9.
Taylor was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, named NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2007 and was selected to the NFL 200s All-Decade Team.
Taylor now lives in Florida and one of his sons is in the process of working to make a name for himself in college football and possibly beyond.
Mason Taylor is a junior tight end at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mason Taylor is getting recruited by major college programs and learned today that his latest offer came from Charlie Partridge and the Pitt Panthers. Along with Pitt, Taylor also holds offers from Illinois, Florida International and Miami, Florida, which he received on Wednesday.
Because of the location to friends and family, Miami is going to be one of if not the front-runner for Taylor but he isn’t listing any leaders and plans on letting the recruiting process play out.
“I was excited when I got the news about the offer today from Pitt,” Taylor tells Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I was in school and saw that Coach Harriott had texted me about it. I was just excited to get the opportunity to play college football at another school. This came as a surprise, yeah. I’ve only talked to the Pitt coaches once and that was last spring. I actually met him in Coach Harriott’s office when he was at our school visiting. This was a surprise but a pleasant surprise.”
Like a majority of athletes across the country, COVID-19 has had an indirect impact on Taylor as he tells me that he hasn’t been able to fully display his skills to prospective colleges because of a lack of film and watching him in-person. Taylor says that last season, Saint Thomas Aquinas played a total of 15 games and played a spring game along with practices. This season, no activity in the spring and they played in only 9 games.
“I’ve just advised by many people to stay patient and have faith and keep working. Patience is the key,” said Taylor.
— Mason Taylor (@MasonTaylor52) January 18, 2021
Taylor has lived in Florida his entire life so he doesn’t have the Western Pennsylvania background like his father but now that he has a Pitt offer, Mason plans on studying up.
“I don’t know much, but I’d be glad and am excited to start learning. Since my dad is from Pittsburgh, I’m sure he has a few things to tell me about it,” said Taylor. “As far as what’s ahead for me, he’s telling me to keep working hard and don’t let the offers get to your head. He tells me that I have some ability but that I need to keep working.”
“Junior Season Highlights”@SFHSSports @CoachHarriott @STA_Football @larryblustein @Rivals @Rivalsfbcamps @HSSportsFL @TheCribSouthFLA @PrepRedzoneFL @coachRon18 @PER4ORM @JasonTaylor @coachkahn @wescarroll13 @bryanbaucom52 https://t.co/D8aYR4jpUQ
— Mason Taylor (@MasonTaylor52) December 21, 2020
Looking ahead to college, Taylor believes that tight end is in his future, although he could also possibly play as a slot receiver. In terms of comparisons, the film shows that he has a build and skillset like Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce.
“I feel like I can bring a program versatility. I can play either Z or Y, go play outside receiver or in the slot but also go in the box and block d-ends and linebackers. I want to be versatile and try to be able to do things that other players can’t do. I want to give the coaches options to go out and run options against cornerbacks but also come in and some run against linebackers, too. Moving all around is fun.”
Pitt was busy recruiting at Saint Thomas of Aquinas as they offered Taylor’s teammates, 2022 three-star quarterback Zion Turner as well as 2022 three-star wide receiver Camden Brown.