Ike Taylor opened up the scouts eyes at the 2003 NFL Combine with a 4.18 40-yard dash. The lean cornerback wasn’t exactly on many lists coming out of a small school in Louisiana-Lafayette and only had switched positions from running back before his senior year. A work in progress would be an understatement.
But the Pittsburgh Steelers – an organization known for being highly successful picking players – liked what they saw and selected Taylor in the 4th round (125th overall) and he worked his way into the starting line-up by 2005 and is still there. He has become a highly-respected corner in the league and has also earned two Super Bowl rings with the team.
When it comes to preparation, Taylor had to learn how to be a gym rat. “I was a late bloomer with the weights,” he said. “I really didn’t work out until my sophomore year in college.”
So even though he knows that lifting is an important part of his regimen, that doesn’t necessarily mean he needs to break any records with the amount of weight being used. “You don’t have to be big to play cornerback,” he commented. “I found that out in my first two years (in the league). When you play corner, there’s a lot of twisting and turning, so I make sure to do exercises that include one-leg plant offs, one-leg and one-arm movements and a lot of abs.
“I also run every day and will lift weights (at least) three days a week according to my position.”
To get the most benefit from his workouts, Taylor also knows that things can go awry if a healthy diet and proper rest are not included in the program.
“I stay away from fried foods and eat lots of fish,” he says. “I eat steak only once or twice a month and have a clean diet. But the main thing is sleeping. I go to bed around 9:30 or 10:00 pm and wake up no later than 6:30 in the morning. I always get eight or more hours of sleep every night.”
Be sure to follow Ike Taylor on Twitter – @Ike_SwagginU
Photo by Eric Schwabel, Courtesy of EAG Sports Management