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Taylor strives to become inspiration to youth

James Taylor knows what it takes to get to the highest level of his profession.

Now he wants others to know, too.

"I want to be an inspiration for people," Taylor said.

Even though Taylor signed an NFL contract 11 days ago to play cornerback for the New York Jets, the former Ironton Fighting Tigers still had thoughts of his hometown on his mind.

After playing college football at Ohio University and Georgetown, Ky., Taylor has spent the past two years working and training for his chance at the NFL. He got a shot last summer with the Green Bay Packers only to be waived in the next-to-last cut.

But Taylor never wavered from his dream or his preparation, implementing tough, aggressive workouts. He wants to bring that attitude back to his hometown and surrounding areas.

"There are obstacles all through life no matter who you are or what profession you're in," Taylor said. "The way I see it,if you let obstacles get in your way that push you away from your dream, then you must not have wanted it that bad."

And regardless of the dream, Taylor said anyone can realize what they want if they work hard enough.

"The best thing I could say (to a high school kid) is to stay on the grind. No matter what, you've got to stay on the grind. You can't just have a dream two days out of the week. It's 24-seven," Taylor said.

Taylor has a high-intensity workout that builds endurance, not just strength. He has developed his own program by borrowing from all the various programs and strength and conditioning coaches he has encountered.

"Most guys won't work out with me, and if they do, they don't make it through the workout. They're just not used to my pace," Taylor said.