Tory Taylor to head to NFL after 2023 season

FILE - Iowa punter Tory Taylor punts during the second half of an NCAA college football game...
FILE - Iowa punter Tory Taylor punts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Iowa City, Iowa, in this Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, file photo. Tory Taylor sells T-shirts that say "Punting Is Winning." Those words describe what's going on at No. 2 Iowa, where Taylor's punting has played a huge factor in the Hawkeyes' 6-0 start. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:09 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - University of Iowa punter Tory Taylor announced on Tuesday that he plans to forgo his final year of college and head to the NFL after this season.

Taylor has won multiple Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week awards and will leave as a cult hero among the black and gold fanbase. His ‘Punting is Winning’ T-shirt can be seen all around Iowa City, the proceeds of which go to a nonprofit cause.

In his weekly press conference, Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said of Taylor:

“...His first game ever, and he was so naive to college football, American college football. It was kind of refreshing actually, so it was kind of neat. He’s become Americanized now. He’s part of the pack here.

To watch his evolution, he was obviously talented then, had raw ability and talent. The one thing about him this year that I’ll never forget is just the way he’s practiced. He’s a real craftsman now. He went from a guy who kicked the ball. That’s what he did forever, grew up doing that, punting the ball and all that stuff, but now he is just like -- he has such clear focus and intent every time he’s out there at practice. He’s really practiced at a high level.

I know he had a so-so game two weeks ago, but I told him afterward I’m just so confident you’re going to come right back because you watch a guy every day. And that’s maturity, that’s experience, that’s really putting things in the bank and really using them to your advantage. That’s a real credit to him. He’s really learned how to be a really focused college football player.

He has been a really strong team leader on top of that. He has a unique perspective, but he’s a really good teammate. He cares about his teammates deeply. Specialist is kind of funny. It’s like a relief pitcher in baseball. Those guys stand out in a different dugout, and they’re away from the main team and all that, but there’s some parallels to that. When they go out there, everybody watches to see what they do.

He’s in that situation, but he’s done a great job bonding with everybody. I think he enjoys life. I know he seems like he’s really enjoyed his time here in Iowa. We’ve been fortunate to have him come through this place and be part of us. So just thrilled for him. His future, I wish him all the best obviously moving forward, all those guys.”