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Prospect Profile: Alex Taylor is a playmaker at heart

TORONTO — It’s a moment Alex Taylor has dreamed about his entire life.

The Western Mustangs running back is looking to get drafted next month, when the country’s top amateur football players go pro at the 2018 CFL Draft on May 3.

Asked what that might feel like, Taylor had no hesitation.

“When I was really young I would literally dream about playing in the CFL,” he said. “It’s weird because it goes by in the blink of an eye and it’s finally here.”

He added: “I’ve put a lot of hours of work and years of work into getting to this point and I’m not nervous because I feel prepared and I feel this is how it’s supposed to be.

“To have my name called would be an absolute honour and a blessing.”

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Unlike some of the draft’s top prospects, Taylor is no stranger to the three-down game. His cousin is former Stamps receiver Markus Howell, while he’s followed the career of star running back Andrew Harris since the Winnipeg native came to the league in 2010.

Taylor is also from Winnipeg, joining a club of versatile receivers/running backs that includes Anthony Coombs and Nic Demski.

Taylor’s game has drawn some similarities to all three, and at the CFL Scouting Combine presented by adidas he tested as both a running back and a receiver.

Harris even offered Taylor some pointers during the one-on-one showcase on the combine’s final day.

“He was just coaching everyone up and when I got the chance to talk to him he just told me how I can improve on the drills and improve my technique and improve my game,” Taylor told CFL.ca at the combine. “That was important and special coming from a guy who’s done it all, seen it all, and one of the best backs in the league.”

Like Harris, Taylor takes pride in his playmaking ability. He says he’s never really played any other position on the field, and he’s fine with that because all he wants is the ball in his hands.

Last season, while helping Western win a Vanier Cup, Taylor rushed for 831 yards, averaging 118.7 yards per game and 7.8 yards per carry.

“I’ve always been a running back,” he said. “I just said I wanted the ball and I wanted to run with the ball. They threw me at running back, and it’s been history ever since then.

“I love being dynamic, I love being dangerous, I like making people miss and I like making plays. It’s definitely a special feeling.”