42 Days: A Look Back at All-Big Ten Player Billy Taylor

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.

Go Blue!

TWD Staff

Stories contributed by staff members of The Wolverine Daily.