As many New York Giants fans know, safety Cooper Taylor played for Georgia Tech before joining the team. What they may not know, however, is that at one brief point in Taylor’s life the goal of continuing a career in football was incredibly hazy and potentially risky.
In Miami, Florida on September 17, 2009, Taylor was playing in a football game as a college sophomore. His heart started racing, seemingly for no reason, and soon thereafter an ambulance came to bring him to the hospital. With the reason for the episode unknown, doctors began to search for what could have caused this. “I really thought if I had a heart condition my career would be done,” Taylor remarked in a NY Daily News article.
Taylor soon learned that he had Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW), a condition caused by abnormal electrical pathways that disrupted the regular rhythm of his heart. Luckily for him, it was a condition that doctors were able to “fix 100%” with a surgery the day after the game. Taylor was “in and out in an hour.” Just like that, his dreams of playing in the NFL were restored.
In the 2013 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Cooper Taylor in the fifth round. Despite the fact that he played safety throughout college, many believe because of his of size 6’4” and 230 pounds Taylor would be better suited at linebacker. Regardless of the position he plays, his 4.49 40-yard dash time, the fourth best of safeties at the combine, will certainly be a tool and an advantage for the team in the upcoming season.