On this day in 1994, Brett Taylor was born and named in honor of Brett Favre.
The native of Macomb, Illinois, signed with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent after playing collegiately at Western Illinois. In 2017, Taylor led the Leathernecks with 162 tackles and 13 tackles for loss en route to being named Phil Steele’s FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
Now, he’s trying to carve out a role as a backup defender and contributor on special teams for the Vikings.
The son of a pair of Packers fans (Taylor’s father grew up in Wisconsin) explained that he was a “diehard” fan growing up, “but as soon as the Vikings called, I’m the number one Vikings fan now.”
Taylor said he developed a “sweet spot” for the Vikings when Favre signed with Minnesota before the 2009 season. Now, the linebacker is days away from suiting up for his first NFL preseason game in a No. 45 Vikings jersey.
“The coaches are awesome, and the team is amazing,” Taylor told Vikings.com. “Coming into the NFL, I didn’t think anyone would be a family, but I definitely think the Vikings have a family, and I just think it’s an awesome opportunity.”
Taylor spent several extra minutes after Monday’s walk-through to practice more special teams drills.
“I know that special teams is going to be my way onto the team, so I’m trying to get as many reps as possible and hopefully make an impression,” Taylor said. “I played specials for my first three years, and then in my senior year, I only played punt and I was the personal protector, so it’s a little bit of a change coming from college. I’m just taking it in stride and trying to get better each day.”
Here are three other topics Taylor discussed with Vikings.com:
On his college degrees (Bachelor’s in Recreation Park Tourism Administration and Master’s in Sport Administration)
“Hopefully, all of the cards go right and I can play football as long as possible. If not, I’d like to be an athletic director one day, work my way up. … Probably high school. College athletics have crazy scheduling. High school would be a little more laid back, and I could spend more time with my family.”
On recently getting married
“Yeah, just got married (to Madison) July 7. We went on a little honeymoon, but her first day of vet school [was this week]. She just started at Auburn.”
You use #HippoUp in your Twitter profile. What’s that?
“My favorite animal is the hippo. It always has been, and it’s just a little slogan I like to use, to say ‘HippoUp,’ get after it a little, something like that. I thought it was catchy, and it kind of stuck in college, so I just love it.”
The hippo videos (from the Cincinnati Zoo) are pretty fun.
“Yeah, I love Fiona.”
How long have you been a hippo fan?
“It started in high school, but I just kept evolving. I’ve got stuffed animal hippos, little [figurines] of hippos, hippo shirts. I just love the hippo.”