Photo: Gadsden City High School senior Isaiah Taylor signed a letter of intent on March 23 to play football at Faulkner University in Montgomery. Pictured, sitting, from left: mom Valerie, Isaiah, dad Darius. Standing, from left: GCHS head football coach Ali Smith, sister Naomi, brother Elijah, GCHS assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator Renza Avery, Jr. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Isaiah Taylor recently parlayed his success in the classroom and on the athletic field into tuition-free college career.
The Gadsden City High School senior signed a letter of intent on Wednesday, March 23 to play football at NAIA Faulkner University in Montgomery.
Playing on the defensive line this past season, Taylor finished with 61 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery as the Titans went 5-5 in what was arguably the toughest region in Class 7A.
“It’s really nice to have the opportunity to play at the next level,” said Taylor, who is considering studying physical therapy or education. “Falkner’s a really nice school and the classes are smaller, so I’ll be able to learn in a more closed environment.”
The 2021 Faulkner football team went 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Southern States Athletic Conference. Taylor will join 2021 Gadsden City graduate Montae Lee, 2021 Southside graduate Garrett Orr and 2021 Hokes Bluff graduate Hunter Burke on the Eagle roster.
GCHS head football coach Ali Smith noted that Taylor is the ninth player of the Class of 2022 to sign a football scholarship.
“This a very good group of young men,” he said. “In this day and age, anytime a young man gets the opportunity to attend school with his [tuition] paid for is a testament to his character. The maturity that Isaiah has shown in the four years he’s been here goes without being said. He’s been a great teammate, a great student and a great ambassador for our football program, our school and our community.”
“Whatever the characteristics that Faulkner University was looking for, Isaiah met them,” said Gadsden City Schools Superintendent Tony Reddick. “I encourage all of our underclassmen to follow the example set by Isaiah and the other eight seniors who got their college education paid for. As a former college athlete, I want to stress how important it is to finish what you started.”