NGSC Sports

Carlif Taylor Is a Player Football Fans Should Keep An Eye On

For every FBS players that has national exposure each and every Saturday, there are even more FCS players that go unnoticed. Southern Connecticut State defensive lineman Carlif Taylor is one of those FCS players hoping to receiver attention from not just fans, but NFL scouts.

Taylor played four season in the Northeast-10 Conference and he performed at a high level. As a junior in 2013, the defensive lineman recorded 54 tackles (31 solo), 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and one pass breakup. That earned him a spot on the Northeast-10 Conference, which he would duplicate during his senior season

In 2014, the 6’2, 315 pound lineman ranked third on the Eagles in tackles with 73. Taylor also posted 11 tackles for loss and made the Northeast-10 All-Conference team for the second straight season.

Because of his stellar player the last two season, Taylor was invited to the 2014 FCS National Bowl game, which an annual post-season all-star game consisting of top players from non-FBS schools. Before he plays in the game on Dec. 7, I was able to ask Taylor some questions about his career and his future goals.

Me: Could you tell me what made you want to play football at Southern Connecticut?

Taylor: It all started off with my high school career. I only played my senior year and had very little knowledge about the sport and my potential.  After the season  i received various letters from schools such as Rutgers, Holy Cross, Temple, Wagner, Fordham, Stony Brook, Lafayette and even a hand write letter from Princeton.  I originally planned on going to Lafayette, so i took my SAT’s and they lost my score twice. I took it again for the 3rd time and really didn’t give it my best effort.  My test scores wasn’t high enough for most of my offers, many of them offered prep schools and JUCO options. But being that my knowledge was inferior at the time about the recruiting process, I really wasn’t interested in doing that. At the time my only division II offers were Southern (Connecticut) and LIU (Long Island University) Post.  My scores were good enough for Division II and I choose Southern to be my new home.

How would you describe your football experience at Southern Connecticut?

Southern Connecticut taught me a lot. I’ve witness tremendous talent across the board which motivated me to become better.   I was able to play with (defensive end) Ike Igbinosun, who is currently on the (Buffalo) Bills. I also played alongside with Jerome Cunningham who is now on the New York Giants roster. The older guys above me taught me drive, determination, and hard work. The journey was tough, but i wouldn’t take it back for anything.

Who was the toughest player you had to face in college?

I’ve honestly never had a backbreaking challenge with an offensive line during my four years at Southern (Connecticut), however IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) who was seventh in the nation at this time during my redshirt sophomore year, was the toughest team I have ever played against.

How did you feel when you found out you were named to the All Conference team for the second straight season?

It’s a tremendous honor to be selected two years in a row. I understand that this is something that is not easy to do and it is also a select few who have received these titles. Awards like these motivate me to work harder than before. I was taught not to put a limit on yourself and that you can accomplish things others never dream about when nobody else wants too.

What qualities will you bring to an NFL Team? What are the parts of your game you feel like you need to work on?

I played two different defensive fronts in my four years at Southern which makes me very versatile. I played across the whole line from a zero (technique) to a nine. My natural size gives me good ballast and makes me excel at stopping the run. Some reports (from scouts) relate my game similar to Leonard Williams from USC due to my athletic ability. I’m also a raw talent due to the fact that I only played one year of high school and I’m still elevating my game giving me enormous potential down the line. A weakness of mine would be my pass rushing skills, which is not mediocre, but needs to be refined.

What’s up next for you? How many All-Star Games will you play in? 

As of now I am training for the FCS national bowl game December 7. I have been offered to numerous bowls but this is the only one I have confirmed as of now.   Hopefully this will open the doors for me because I get to compete with elite talent on a national level in front of scouts and agents. Which in return will get my invited to bigger and more prestigious bowl games.

What is the first thing you would do if an NFL Team were to sign you?

My first thing I would do is pray. To play for the NFL is a blessing and a rare dream that only a few can say that reached. It would be an honor to be a part of that list so i would definitely give all glory to God and thank everybody who helped me get there.

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