With 42 Days until the return of Michigan football, we look back at the career of All-Big Ten running back, Billy Taylor. Below are some of his highlights and achievements:
- Taylor held Michigan’s career rushing yards record of 3,072 for 6 seasons, until Rob Lytle broke the record with 3,307 yards.
- Was selected as All-Big Ten Player 3 straight seasons making 1st team twice.
- Finished second in most points in Michigan history, first was Tom Harmon.
- Held the school’s rushing average record of 102 per game, which was later broke by Mike Hart in 2007.
- Helped Michigan to an undefeated record in 1971 (lost to Stanford in the 1972 Rose Bowl 13-12).
- Named Captain during the 1971 season.
- Played behind talented offensive linemen such as Dan Dierdorf, Reggie McKenzie, and Jim Mandich.
- Voted MVP by his teammates during the 1971 season, where they were undefeated and ranked in the top 5 all season.
- Was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round(102 pick) in the 1972 NFL Draft.
- Unfortunately, had a bad training camp and was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was placed on injury reserve and cut from the team.
- Got picked up by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League for a season.
- Played with a few American Football teams, such as the Chicago Fire and Memphis Southmen, before officially retiring in 1974.
Life After Football
- After experiencing life altering events(Both Mother and Girlfriend death), he suffered depression that lasted 25 years.
- Admitted into Rehabilitation in 1997 and co-authored an autobiography called “Get Back Up: The Billy Taylor Story”.
- Taylor went back to school and received his Ed. D degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas(UNLV) in 2003.
- Currently, he is the Director of of Rehabilitation Services for the Salvation Army in Detroit, Michigan.