Photo provided by Taylor Powell
Taylor Powell is a linebacker who stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs 234 pounds. He played at Northern Arizona and Sacramento State, graduating from Northern Arizona then transferring as a graduate student to Sacramento State.
We caught up with Powell as he prepares for the 2023 XFL Draft. He hopes to continue to show why he deserves to keep playing the sport he loves professionally.
1. What made you want to play linebacker?
What made me want to be a linebacker is at an early age, I watched Ray Lewis play and he inspired me to be a middle linebacker by the way he led the defense — not only with his play on the field but with his passion for the game. He elevated his teammates on the field and I think that is a key characteristic to be a great leader.
2. What is your best memory from your time playing at Sacramento State?
My best memory at Sac State was winning the Big Sky championship in 2021; that was my first championship in college, so it was truly a special moment.
3. What is one thing XFL teams should know about you?
I think XFL teams should know that they’re getting a student of the game, a guy who comes in, works hard every day, loves to compete and loves the game of football, plus a true playmaker in all facets of the game.
4. What has been the hardest part of your football journey to this point?
The hardest football moment in my life was having to overcome losing my scholarship offer from the University of Nevada a few weeks before (National) Signing Day, which led me to Northern Arizona. Although this was challenging to work through, I ended up graduating from NAU and grad(uate) transferring to Sacramento State for my last season and got admitted into graduate school. I’m currently working on completing my master’s at Sacramento State after being named to the National Honor Society last semester. It’s a true testament to my hard work in the classroom.
5. If you could describe yourself in one sentence to XFL general managers, what would you say?
I’m resilient and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
6. If you had to compare yourself to one NFL player, who would it be?
One player I think my style compares to is Devin Bush; we’re not the tallest linebackers, but we play with great speed and instincts on the field. We’re true sideline-to-sideline backers which enables big-play capability.
7. Playing at the next level is the ultimate goal; what is the backup plan if it doesn’t work out?
My backup plan will be to coach football — either at the collegiate or professional level. I’ve always been a student of the game and I love to teach and adapt to situations. I think this would help me to be a great coach when my playing days are over.
Solo tackles: 79
Total tackles: 179
Tackles for loss: 14
Interception returns for touchdowns: 2
Pass break-ups: 6
Awards: Special Teams Player of the Year 2016 (team award – Northern Arizona)
40-yard dash time at XFL showcase: 4.68 seconds
Three-cone drill: 7.1 seconds
Shuttle time: 4.46 seconds