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Random Thoughts - The final case for C.J. Taylor as Mr. Football
Quarterback C.J. Taylor drove the bus for the Pioneer football team this year.

C.J. Taylor has been driving the bus for the Warren County football team all season. C.J. is more than a quarterback. He plays 90% to 100% of the snaps on defense as well. He also has returned kickoffs and punts. He is the epitome of a football player, and he has done it all in one of the toughest 6A football regions in the state.

Football is not a one-man band, and C.J. Taylor has enjoyed a great supporting cast. Warren County has broken a 29-year losing streak with a vengeance, going 8-2 in the regular season. C.J. Taylor has been the leader on his team’s historic season.


C.J. Taylor finished the season with 1,763 yards, which places him sixth on the single season rushing record for a Tennessee high school quarterback. C.J. is presently ranked fourth in the state in rushing with running backs – no one above him is a quarterback. 

C.J. finished fourth in single season records at Warren County behind Jeff Womack’s outstanding three seasons, and Womack is in the state record books for his rushing totals in 1980. 

C.J. had 2,065 total offensive yards this season that includes 498 passing yards. That is an average of 206.5 total offensive yards per game.

In addition to playing quarterback, C.J. played both strong and free safety on defense. He had 23 solo tackles, 44 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 recovered fumbles.

C.J. also returned kickoffs and punts. He had 154 total return yards with a 25.7 average.

C.J. scored 21 regular season TDs, which puts him behind only Jeff Womack again in school history.



The reason C.J. wears No.1 may surprise you. It has nothing to do with ego. Years ago, when Corey Rathbone was coaching at Warren County, he challenged C.J. to make three goals. One of those goals for C.J. was getting to wear No. 1. Five years ago, C.J.’s brother died in a car accident on Sept. 1. C.J. wears No.1 to remember his brother.

There is another part of C.J. Taylor’s story that motivates him to play football. For the past nine years, his dad has been in prison. C.J. hopes his dad is released someday, and that his father can see him play football.


C.J. Taylor commented about being selected as a semifinalist for the 6A Tennessee Titan Mr. Football award, “It is a blessing to be a semifinalist. I want to thank my mom first off because I couldn’t do anything without her, and I want to thank coach Turner for giving me opportunities along with coach Bond. Last, but not least, I wanna thank God!! He has kept me injury free and has allowed me to play the game I love at a high level.”



• Head coach Kevin Creasy, Oakland, “He’s an all-around great football player. Very talented and skillful on both sides of the ball.”

• Head coach Kit Hartsfield, Blackman, whose team played against three 6A Mr. Football semifinalists -- C.J. Taylor, Jake Briningstool, and Jaxson Campbell, “C.J. Taylor and Jaxson Campbell. Tough choice. Would have to give the edge to C.J. Taylor with how he played against us.” C.J. Taylor rushed for 309 yards and scored five touchdowns against Blackman.

• Head coach Trey Perry, Mt. Juliet, “It is the first time in a long time that I have seen a player that dynamic. He plays every snap on offense and defense. You usually see that in 1A or 2A football, the smaller schools, not in 6A.”

• Warren County defensive coordinator Camron Bond,” I think he is deserving, as deserving as any player in the state because of what he has done for our team. As important as C.J. is to our offense, he is just as important to our defense.”

• Warren County head coach Matt Turner, “In my opinion that was an easy choice. Obviously, I cannot vote for one of my own players. His performance speaks for itself. His athletic ability allowed us to overcome some shortfalls due to COVID. C.J. really helped us get the rust out against DeKalb. And he really moved the chains against Blackman. He had to carry the weight of this team going through an undefeated streak of eight games. We played 123 plays the other night, and he probably played at least 108 of them (against Oakland). It is not Mr. Football Running Back. It is about what you did for your team.”