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British NFL Academy star excited to join iconic Deion Sander

ผู้เขียน:ความนิยม:เวลา:2022-11-20 【ใหญ่กลาง เล็ก

NFL Academy graduate Kofi Taylor-Barrocks spoke to Mirror Sport ahead of his move to Hall of Fame defensive back Deion Sanders Jackson State Tigers programme

As the NFL continues to grow in the United Kingdom and around the world, more talented gems like Kofi Taylor-Barrocks will be unearthed.

Taylor-Barrocks graduated from the NFL Academy, which opened in September 2019. It was the key move to help discover and refine international American football talent while providing them with the opportunity to get scouted and ultimately offered a scholarship to a college in the United Sates.

After receiving nine offers from a number of successful and famous colleges, Taylor-Barrocks became the latest player to commit to a school as the outside linebacker chose the Jackson State Tigers. The Tigers have made waves throughout the college football world after they hired NFL legend Deion Sanders as head coach.

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Sanders is considered one of the best athletes in sports history after starring in both the NFL and MLB during his playing days, and he is now leading the HBCU school in style. In his first full season, Sanders led JSU to the Southwestern Athletic Conference title with an 11-2 record and they are unbeaten in 10 in 2022.

Unsurprisingly, Sanders was a key factor behind Taylor-Barrocks decision to commit to the Tigers. In his exclusive interview withMirror Sport, the linebacker said: What Coach Prime has done is something I dont think any other college coach could do. He came into a programme on a losing season and turned it into a winner. Theyre undefeated this season, so you can see the mindset hes put into place.

Hes brought in big names into the programme, like the number one player for the class of 2022, Travis Hunter - and then its not often you see college coaches on the front cover of Sports Illustrated while hes rubbing shoulders with Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross and loads of other rappers.

To him, its bigger than just football; its trying to build a brand for yourself because obviously football will only last a certain amount of time.

Its wasnt just the lure of playing under Coach Prime that led Taylor-Barrocks to ultimately choose Jackson State. The three-star prospect cited the defensive scheme of the school as something that will play to his strengths, while he also praised the exposure of the programme.

Sometimes its not always about being at the biggest programme, because I can easily just be just another number - but if I go to Jackson State and I perform week in week out, scouts will take note, the linebacker added. I knew this was the best move for me.

I built a relationship with coach [Andre] Hart, the linebacker coach, and then from then I just knew it was the right thing to do. I wanted something different. I had Ole Miss, Michigan State, Colorado, West Virginia but Jackson State showed me the most love and as a European, thats kind of what Im looking for.

Im crossing the pond as they say, and its going to be different; Ive got no family or friends over there, just myself. I need to be part of a team environment where teammates are like my family.

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Taylor-Barrocks likened his style of play to San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Fred Warner and Arizona Cardinals field general Isaiah Simmons thanks to his size and speed. He believes he can move around a lot, coming off the edge or dropping back into coverage on any given down.

It makes sense for the London-born budding star to point to his size and speed. He understood from an early age that he was physically gifted in a way others simply werent.

I was an active kid; I moved around different sports and extracurricular activities just to stay out of trouble really, Taylor-Barrocks continued. I was faster and more developed than everyone else. I actually started doing rowing and I was very good at it but one of my friends asked me to tryout at Kent Exiles and that was where it all started.

I was getting in trouble at school a lot so my mum would say I couldnt go to practice if Im not home at the right times - and that made me a better person. It allowed me to grow grow discipline and stay focused on what I wanted to achieve.

Kofi Taylor-Barrocks believes his size and speed means he can dominate games from the linebacker position - much like San Francisco 49ers star Fred Warner

I didnt really understand the sport when I joined the NFL Academy as it was a totally new experience, but I knew it was for me. I knew it was what I wanted to do - this was my sport now. Ever since then, I took it seriously even when I came across some big and gifted people, but I had the mindset of always giving my best. I knew it was going to be life changing.

After enduring a rocky and unsettling recruitment process due to the Covid pandemic disrupting the world, Taylor-Barrocks can look back on his journey with a special sense of pride. Not only has he overcome the steep odds of being even recruited, but hes set to fly the flag for the United Kingdom as well as all international hopefuls.

Taylor-Barrocks can now dare to look ahead to an exciting future after spending years trusting the process. With a smile on his face, he declared: Im ready to give my all, make a difference and put on a show for the fans that are taking the time out of their Saturdays to tune into the sport they know and love. The atmosphere at JSU is phenomenal and Im looking forward to my name being on the back of my jersey.

Ive got some friends over there playing college ball - Seydou Traore at Arkansas State, Darren Agu at Vanderbilt - and I cant wait to be the next guy up.

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