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Tuesday August 23, 2011 Former Gators WR Travis Taylor back at UF to finish degree, explore coaching career

Updated: 4:15pm, August 23

Since he first showed up on UF’s campus in the summer of 1997, former Gators receiver Travis Taylor has experienced a lot because of football.

He played three seasons for the Gators, winning MVP of the 1999 Orange Bowl. He won a Super Bowl ring his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 and played for six teams over his nine-year NFL career.

Taylor is back at UF finishing up his degree in sports management and running a different route than he is accustomed to: serving as an undergraduate student assistant.

“It’s cool to come back, give back and learn a lot from all the coaches,’’ Taylor said.

A coaching career isn’t something Taylor gave much thought about during his playing days. However, after a rash of injuries ended his playing career, Taylor returned to his hometown in Georgia and started working with local players.

He taught them about the recruiting process, how to run routes and the proper techniques for receivers to use.

“One of my good friends was like, ‘Man, why don’t you start coaching?’ I thought about it and thought about it and finally said I’ll do it,’’ Taylor said.

Former Gators WR Travis Taylor during his career with Baltimore of NFL

Shortly after Gators head coach Will Muschamp announced the hiring of former Gators receiver Aubrey Hill as receivers coach – Hill was a graduate assistant under Steve Spurrier when Taylor played for the Gators – Taylor gave his former position coach a call.

Taylor spent the 2010 season coaching receivers at Rowan (N.J.) University as part of the NFLPA/NCAA coaching internship program. He asked Hill if there were any opportunities with the Gators.

“I had not talked to Aubrey in 10 years,’’ Taylor said. “He was like, ‘Man, whatever I can do for you just let me know. I’ll definitely run it by Coach Muschamp.’ Everything kind of fell into place. I came over to learn about the process and got it done.

“They embraced me to come in and I’m having a great time.’’

As Taylor works to finish his degree, he assists Hill in coaching the receivers. Having played the Patriots many times while Gators offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was New England’s coordinator, Taylor offers another NFL voice for the players to learn from.

“I told the guys this is the offense in the NFL that everybody wants to play in,’’ Taylor said. “Everybody wants to go to New England and play in this kind of offense. Everybody gets to get the ball.’’

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