HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Jeremiah Taylor's new role on the Marshall football team - replacing Vinny Curry as the Thundering Herd's primary pass rusher - is one he adores.
"You're more of just a go getter," he said. "I love the switch. I get to be more physical, screaming up the field and doing the stuff I want to do."
And it's a role coaches say fits him perfectly. The junior defensive end's energy is what they feel makes the defense go and will help him attack the backfield.
Last year, when Taylor looked for inspiration in terms of intensity, he looked over at Curry. That's a pretty good role model - the 2011 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year with 11 sacks and 22 tackles for loss, and a second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles. But above all the stats, Taylor most admired Curry's internal motor.
"I think one game, he came out here and played 80 plays," the 6-foot-4, 259-pound Taylor said. "His motor just didn't stop. Every play looked like the play before."
Defensive coordinator Chris Rippon said that sounds a lot like Taylor, too. He had a productive sophomore year, with 45 tackles, 7.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks. And when Rippon wanted to gauge the defense's practice mentality, he looked at Taylor and not Curry.
"JT goes a million miles an hour and it there's a deviation in that, there's a reason," Rippon said. "I think it affects the entire team. His perception might be different if he said he looked at Vinny, but I looked at JT and I still do. He just plays hard and consistently."
That consistency isn't easy, said Taylor, a South Point, Ohio, native. Part of it is based on the body. A player already has chased ball carriers on first and second down and, when third down comes around, he still needs that one last burst to break through again and force a punt.
The other part of it, Taylor continued, is based on the mind.
"Half of it is mental," he said. "You know what to do because you practice it over and over and over. The other half is, 'OK, I've got to keep going, even though I'm tired. I have to push through and make sure I go here.'"