As Blaise Taylor enters his final season as Red Wolf, the dynamic student athlete has a lot of accomplishments to his name; ranging from multiple conference and national media outlet recognitions and awards to currently holding the school record for most career punt return yardage (781), just to name a few. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment during his time at Arkansas State isn’t his athletic prowess on the gridiron, but his academic feats. Nearly a week ago, Taylor walked across the Astate Commencement stage where he was awarded not only a Bachelor’s Degree in Business & Administration, but an MBA to boot as well. Perhaps the most outstanding out of all of this is the fact the young man was able to accomplish all of this in just 3 1/2 years. “I take pride in academics…it was stressed at a young,” he stated in an interview with the local Jonesboro news station.
And he’s not done yet.
On top of currently working on obtaining an additional Bachelor’s degree in financing (and only lacking 9 credit hours to do so), Taylor is also chasing Sunbelt History as he’s nipping away at both the conference’s current punt returns for touchdowns as well as career punt return yards (both held by former Troy Trojan Leodis McKelvin with 1,471 yards and seven returns for touchdowns to his name). While Blaise will certainly have his work cut out for him if he wants to get close to McKelvin’s return record (still needing 690 yards just to tie) he only trails the touchdown record by four scores.
Undoubtedly BT, alongside his father and associate head coach Trooper Taylor, would love to add on another conference championship ring to their fingers before Blaise closes the door on his collegiate football career, but if you were to ask his Father which of his son’s many achievements and accolades he takes the most pride in, no question it’s his scholastic performance.”I told him education is going to be the one thing in life that people can’t take from you,” Trooper recently said in an interview to the Astatenation website.
He’d continue with, “It also helps you with your choices and decisions-the more educated you are, the better choices and decisions you should be making.” And Blaise has already made some pretty lofty decisions on his after college, as he aims to not only become a sports agent but establish a non-profit agency he has entitled “1-for-2” (the goal in which is “to be the one” or additional person to make a difference in a young person’s life).
Coincidentally, with all the hubabaloo that former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has recently raised with his controversial remarks regarding how college football and school “don’t go together” (as well as taking jabs at the academic standards of both Alabama and Clemson) it’s stories like Blaise Taylor’s that should remind us to remember the essence of college football; young men utilizing their athletic abilities and talent to further better themselves- both as contributing active members in our society and most importantly, to themselves.