ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Rookie running back LaVance Taylor was oblivious to what was happening behind the scenes leading to his signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Taylor spent Wednesday afternoon sending tweets to NFL teams, including the Chiefs, introducing himself and with a link to his 12-minute highlight package on YouTube.com.
“My dad gave me the idea,” Taylor said. “He was like, ‘Go ahead and tweet every team and see what happens. The worst they can say is no or not reply.’”
Thursday found the former University of Central Missouri star focused on planning his weekend after an exhaustive day, which included a job interview at McLane Foodservice and filling out job applications.
But then the phone rang, and everything changed in an instant.
“I was about to take a nap because I was tired,” Taylor said Friday. “My agent called me, and then the (general) manager (John Dorsey) called me, and I was here in like an hour.”
While it’s unlikely the highlight package was the primary reason for his signing, Taylor, a native of Raytown, Mo., was all smiles about his arrival when he met the media at training camp.
And his enthusiasm on being with a team he grew up rooting for oozed from his pores.
“I love the Chiefs,” he said. “I love anything Kansas City, actually. This is humbling and a blessing experience right now.”
Taylor said it felt like his heart would pop out of his chest when he realized the Chiefs were on the end of the telephone line.
And he was apparently so excited to report for training camp that he didn’t a lot of time packing.
“I didn’t even think about none of that stuff,” Taylor said with a smile. “I came here with my clothes on, this backpack, that’s all I had. I had my cleats in there and that was it.”
Taylor said he admired a trio of Chiefs great running backs while growing up in the Kansas City area, namely Jamaal Charles, Marcus Allen and Priest Holmes.
He will now share repetitions in the same backfield with Charles in camp, a scenario that Taylor still hasn’t wrapped his mind around.
“I’m still living in the moment right now,” Taylor said. “I haven’t thought that far, but it’s going to be a surreal moment. I’ll probably choke up when I see him before I talk to him.”
While it would be easy for a rookie to become star struck around Charles, it’s not like the 5-11, 195-pound Taylor doesn’t have talent of his own.
Taylor totaled 1,918 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on 245 carries during his senior season in 2014, adding 427 yards receiving and two touchdowns on 38 catches and 273 kickoff yards. He averaged 218.17 total yards per game, which led Division-II football.
The thrill of the moment will eventually pass, and Taylor received his first taste of life in the NFL earlier in the morning during his first workout with rookies, quarterbacks and select players.
“It was pretty good feedback,” Taylor said. “I got yelled at a lot, but that comes with it. Overall, it was pretty good for the first day. But you always have to get better.”
The road to the final 53-man roster won’t be easy for Taylor.
The Chiefs currently have five running backs in training camp with Taylor, Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Charcandrick West and Keshawn Hill, who is dealing with a hamstring injury.
Taylor concedes the obstacles, but is ready to do what he can to rise to the occasion, which starts Saturday during the first full practice of training camp as a team.
“This is going to be a very tough roster,” Taylor said. “The person that’s in front of me, I looked up to all my life. I know it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m ready for it. That’s what comes along with being in the NFL.”