Football teammates call Scott Taylor “golden boy” because of his curly blond hair and ties to Loyola High. He’s 16 years old, stands 6 feet 4, weighs 226 pounds and is growing so fast that it might be wise not to bring a burger near him.
“If you feed me, I keep growing,” he said. “I eat everything they put in front of me.”
If Loyola had a place for babies to be born, Taylor would have been there. From birth, he was destined to be a Cub. His mother, Teri, is the daughter of former Loyola basketball coach and principal Bill Thomason. Of Bill and Mary Thomason’s 19 grandchildren, 13 are boys. Scott was baptized in the Loyola chapel.
“They all knew where they were going to high school,” Bill said.
Three are at Loyola, with six more to come.
Taylor, a junior defensive end, linebacker and tight end, served as a ball boy and water boy growing up. He remembers taking rides around campus in a golf cart with his grandfather. He’s also related to the Kleins, another family of athletes from Loyola — Dylan Klein is a star volleyball player at USC — and the Keefes, as in the NBA’s Adam Keefe.
Taylor’s mother met her future husband, Brian Taylor, at Stanford, where he played football. Scott has a brother, Drew, who’s a senior playing baseball at Loyola. He’s got younger brothers in first and fifth grades. And the only girl sibling, Shay, is an eighth-grade volleyball player. She could end up at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
Growing up, Scott was such a good youth soccer player that he was offered a spot on the U17 LAFC academy team. But he came home after a weeklong summer showcase and announced, “I would rather go two-a-days in 100-degree heat than play in a national soccer tournament. I know what I want to play.”
Football is his sport, and what a player he has become. He’s fast for his size and getting faster from competing in hurdles and sprints in track and field.
“A lot of my workouts are explosive based,” he said. “Working hurdles helps with hips and mobility. Pass rushing off the edge is all about being able to flip your hips.”
He moved to defensive end this season because that’s where Loyola needed him, but he just as comfortable playing linebacker. He has eight sacks.
“I’m trying to be perfect at both linebacker and defensive end,” he said.
In which position will Taylor excel most?
“It depends how big I get,” he said. “I keep feeling I’m getting bigger. I don’t know when that will stop. The bigger and taller I get, the more I think defensive end makes sense. Being able to do both speaks to my athleticism.”
Said coach Drew Casani: “He’s kicking butt. He’s doing everything right. He works hard, he lifts hard, he practices hard and it’s showing up on the field. He’s not just productive, he’s dominating at his position.”
Loyola is 3-5 but in position to finish second in the Angelus League and claim a playoff spot, which would give Taylor and many of his young teammates more games to improve and perform.
Taylor hasn’t forgotten the days when he was 7 years old and roaming the Loyola sideline clutching a football, full of energy and dreams.
“It’s where I wanted to be someday,” he said.
Didn’t Taylor dream of scoring touchdowns?
“I’ve always been more excited to play defense than offense,” he said. “I like being able to hit people.”
When he was 6, he participated in a camp organized by former Loyola and NFL linebacker Anthony Barr. The minimum age to play was 8. He refused to be denied.
Rest assured, Loyola isn’t going to run out of football players from the Taylor/Thomason family tree for years to come.
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