Taylor Gabriel arrived in Berea six months ago as a tryout player for rookie minicamp. He’s now averaging 19.2 yards per catch and entered play Sunday ranked second among NFL receivers in that statistic. The 5-foot-8, 167-pounder has been a pleasant surprise in a season filled with them for the Browns (5-3).
Before Gabriel went on to play for the Cleveland Browns all he wanted was a shot to take care of his family. After losing his Mother at a very early age, Gabriel became the father figure in his sister’s life because his father worked.
We did an interview with Gabriel before the draft, because we knew at NFL Draft Diamonds he had the talent to go the NFL and succeed. Some of the more interesting parts of his interview, was the fact that several major division 1 schools like TCU, Nebraska, Michigan and Tulsa all wanted Gabriel, but his ACT score kept him out of division 1. Gabriel did not let that bother him, instead he made the best of it, because he wanted to one day play in the NFL and make enough money to pay for both his sister’s tuition in school as well as his own.
Well Taylor, you are making your mark brother. Yesterday, Gabriel scored the game winning touchdown against the Buccaneers and all he wanted after the game was that ball.
“I just want to keep that ball and just go to sleep with it tonight,” Gabriel said according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Hoyer spotted Gabriel and lofted the ball toward the right corner as 67,431 fans released a collective “ohhhhh” in anticipation. The rookie picks up the story from here: “I felt like that ball was in the air for a good hour and a half,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure I secured the catch and it just felt good to get my first touchdown.”
Gabriel has an angel watching over him and while it may have seemed like the ball was hanging in the air for an hour and a half, it was only a few seconds, because his mother made sure it was in his hands and secure. Congrats brother, I know your entire family, including your mother is smiling.