July 8, 2009

Where are they now: Steve Taylor

Though he may get lost in the shuffle at times when listing the all-time great Nebraska quarterbacks, looking at his resume, Steve Taylor at least deserves some mention.

He never was able to lead the Huskers to a national title, but Taylor was in many ways ahead of his time with his dual threat ability to both run and pass as well as any quarterback in the country. A two-time All-Big 8 selection and first-team All-American in 1987, Taylor ended his NU career holding nine school single-game and career records.

In our latest edition of "Where are they now?" HI.com caught up with the former Husker signal caller to get an update on his life, along with his thoughts on the Nebraska's latest coaching staff and how he would fit in a spread offense.

Considering your work as an analyst with Channel 8 here in Lincoln, you obviously must still keep pretty good tabs on Nebraska football?

"Well, I'm not as familiar with the players as I once was just because I'm getting older, but I obviously still follow them. I think Bo and his staff, they're on the right track. With Coach Osborne coming back, everything seems really like it once was. The feel is back, and it's great. It feels like old times."

How tough was it for you to watch the program struggle the way it did the past few years?

"Oh yeah, it was tough to bear all that stuff. You know, who enjoys losing? So no, it was not a good period for four or six years with all the drama that went on with us. We were just not accustomed to that, so that was a bit of a challenge to get through. I never thought Nebraska would go so far back, but we did. But you know, I think we're going to come back stronger. That's our legacy and our history."

Where are they now?
Player: Steve Taylor, 1985-89

Current city: Lincoln, Neb.

Family: Wife: Stephanie; Three daughters: Sydney (14), Skylar (10) and Samantha (7).

Current profession: Taylor works as a full-time realtor for HOME Real Estate. He has also worked as a pre- and post-game analyst for KLKN Channel 8 in Lincoln covering Nebraska games for the past nine years. He's unsure if he'll continue to work as an analyst this season.

Professional career: Taylor was drafted in the 12th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, but his NFL career was short lived. Instead, Taylor took his game to the Canadian Football League, where in eight seasons he played in three Grey Cups and won one. He retired from football in 1996.

NU career accomplishments: A two-time All-Big 8 selection and a first-team All-American in 1987, Taylor ended his Nebraska career the owner of nine single-game and career school records.

Overall, Taylor finished as the NU leader in rushing attempts by a quarterback in a season (157 in 1988); rushing attempts by a quarterback in a career (431 in 1985-88); rushing net yards gained by a quarterback in a single game (157 vs. Utah State, 1987); rushing net yards gained by quarterback in a season (826 in 1988); rushing net yards gained by a quarterback in a career (2,215 in 1985-88); tied with three others for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a game (3 vs. Iowa State, 1988); rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a season (13 in 1988); rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a career (32 in 1985-88); and passing touchdowns in a game (5 vs. UCLA, 1987).

Looking back on your playing days at NU, what stands out as your favorite all-time memory as a Husker?

"Oh I have so many. One was my first start against Florida State (1986) in the first night game. That and obviously the UCLA game my junior year when we took over the No. 1 ranking. Then the not-so-good one, when we lost the Game of the Century II to Oklahoma. Obviously the Sugar Bowl, the Kickoff Classic against Texas A&M - we took that challenge on and won. So I've got several very fond memories. It was good."

Do you still keep in touch with any of your former teammates?

"Yeah. Neil Smith, Lawrence Pete, Richard Bell, Hendley Hawkins, Tom Bandaras. So yeah, I've got a core group of guys I keep in contact with on a regular basis."

What are your thoughts on the evolution of Nebraska's quarterbacks over the past few years from option runners to more balanced, spread offense QBs?

"My scenario's a little different because I played pro ball and we threw the football all the time and in high school I was a pretty good passer. So I've also enjoyed throwing the football, but I've enjoyed running it as well. That's why Nebraska was probably a pretty good mix for me. But it's great to see. I think now we can get those athletes and compete nationally. I think we had to do that. I think the option, the way that the triple option was run underneath the center and Power-I, I think those days are done. You see it all out of the shotgun now. I think it's a great evolution that we're doing."

Do you think you would have been a better fit in Nebraska's offense today than Tom Osborne's offense of the late 1980s?

"Oh yeah, I would've loved to run an offense like Texas's or Missouri's. Nebraska was kind of more of a control offense when I played, but they've got more and more into the shotgun over the years. So yeah, I would've loved to play in the offense they're running now."

A lot of players talk about how much they appreciate the new coaching staff's open door policy for former players and how they felt shut out from the program under the previous staff. Have you noticed much of a difference?

"To be quite frank with you, it never really bothered me. I went down there whenever I wanted to. We helped build that place, and I have a lot of memories there. I didn't really buy into that (closed door policy). If I wanted to go down there, I went down there. That was always my approach. But yeah, it's always been open door, and even more so now. All the players, we've always been welcome down there. I guess I was never told no to."

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