Injured Hawaii linebacker Taylor takes every moment seriously

Feb. 17—Even with a single leg to stand on, there has been no curbing Hawaii linebacker Logan Taylor's enthusiasm.

Even with a single leg to stand on, there has been no curbing Hawaii linebacker Logan Taylor's enthusiasm.

During spring training—similar to practices and games after suffering a torn ACL—Taylor implores teammates to make the right reads, to do their jobs with enthusiasm and, the other day, not let freshman quarterback Micah Alejado scramble to daylight.

"If I can lead the boys and help them with what they're struggling with, if I can be a leader, a voice out there, that's what I'm going to do, " Taylor said. "I still have value. These are my teammates. These are my brothers. If I can help them, I'll help."

In the fourth quarter against Albany last Sept. 9, Taylor felt a "pop " in his left knee. "I never felt it before, so I knew it was something, " Taylor recalled. "I felt one pop, and then it swelled up, but I was able to walk. Honestly, I felt I was healed. I told the team I'm staying in. And two plays later, I tore it."

Soon after, he was diagnosed with a season-ending torn ACL in his left knee. "I've had surgeries before, " said Taylor, who underwent an operation after playing four games with a broken toe in 2021. "But this is the first serious one."

Before attacking post-surgery rehab, Taylor requested that his captain's title be transferred to middle linebacker Isaiah Tufaga.

"I believed Isaiah deserved that, " Taylor said. "He might not have been voted captain, but he was my captain. I wanted him to have that recognition. That's my brother for life. That was another blessing : me being able to be blessed by blessing him. He deserved that. He worked for that."

During practices, Taylor had to be reminded to use his crutches. The Warriors also would have preferred if Taylor's foldout chair was equipped with a restraining belt. This spring training, Taylor is able to run—and keep on the move—while encouraging teammates.

As always, Taylor offers upbeat advice. "This is coming from player to player, " he said. "I know what they go through. I know it's hard at the end of the week. I know they're grinding, and bodies hurt. The only thing you need to have is effort. If you're going to mess up, mess up at 100 %, and we can get it corrected."

Taylor is in the fifth month of what is usually a nine-month recovery for an ACL injury.

"We can get into this all day about the percentage of the graph, but who knows ? I'm running. That's all I know. And I will be there for game day (of the opener )."

He also cites his Christian faith in getting through the rehab.

"It's not what I would have chose, but it's what God chose for me, " Taylor said. "And God's plan is better than my plan could ever be. I'm grateful for how this happened, and I know God has amazing growth for me."

Taylor added : "I'm still part of this team. I love this. I'm going to miss when it's gone, so I'm going to enjoy every moment of it. As much as it's encouraging the boys, I'm lifted up being out here watching these guys and being part of this team. It's something that you only get once in a lifetime. I'm not going to take that for granted."