NFL Draft Diamonds Spotlight Interview: Taylor Gabriel, WR, Abilene Christian
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
I was recruited by TCU Nebraska Tulsa Michigan SMU ACU was the only division 2
How did you come to make your college decision?
My ACT scores didn’t qualify me to go to a division 1 school, so I had to go to ACU
Where are you training, and what are your goals for pro day/combines?
I’m training at Michael Johnson facility in Allen, Tx. My goals are to wow the scouts and show speed and quickness and also prepare right. To know I’ll put up great numbers in the 40 yard dash..I’m going to go 4.3.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
Yea I’ve met with a lot of scouts at the Medal of Honor Bowl and throughout our season. They told me to just stay focused and to have a good pro day. Show my quickness and speed. I believe I’m the quickest draft prospect in the 2014 draft this year, and I will prove that in the shuttle .
At your position, what separates you from the others?
My quickness and speed and I’m a willing blocker and know the tendencies of a defense because of film and knowing formations football IQ. Dedicated and hungry to help any team in any way.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
The different tendencies of a defender what he does to give a coverage off. Just looking at base formations and how fast he opens his hips and what hand he reaches out with first to make contact.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
I would say Cliff Harris from Oregon, and also Janoris Jenkins from the Rams.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
Steve Smith and Wes Welker, but I’m faster than Wes Welker
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
My mom passing when I was younger going through high school without her really hurt she passed when I was 16 at the peak of becoming who I am as a man. She pushed me to play football and become great but I almost gave up on the game I love but I no when I’m out there on the field I can feel her there with me smiling. Having to take care of my younger sister going to meet with her teachers and feel in a bit because my dad worked.
What system fits your style of play the best?
Any system. I can play slot or outside receiver.
What is your biggest strength?
My biggest strength I would say my speed, quickness and my route running.
What is your biggest weakness?
Just putting more time in the film room. Really getting the different tendencies of my defender.
If I were a GM and gave you a minute to sell yourself, what would you say?
I would tell them that I’m a competitor and would do anything to be the best at my position anywhere on the field. Gunner, kick-off, relentless player.. I will be the first player there and the last to leave. Dependable at everything knowing they can trust me on any assignment.
Growing up, who was your role model?
I would say my father. He took me under his wing and made me the man that I am today.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
I really don’t have a favorite team because I’m passionate about the game and I hate to see them lose. My favorite player would be Steve Smith.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
Martin Luther King , Steve Jobs , My mom
What would you buy with your first NFL paycheck?
I would pay my sister tuition for her to go to college, and pay my loans off.. God willing