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May 17, 2014

Taylor Ready For Next Step

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Technically, the Baltimore Ravens are the last NFL team to get their Super Bowl rings. Technically, at least.

The Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII in February with a 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos. But the Seahawks have yet to receive their rings, which will be later this summer. And that's not lost on former Virginia Tech quarterback and Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He was part of Baltimore's Super Bowl XLVII-winning team last year.

Former Hokies defensive back Kam Chancellor was part of Seattle's Super Bowl team this season, but Taylor has been quick to remind him in their regular conversations who has a ring and who doesn't. Taylor, though, has been the backup to Joe Flacco the past three seasons. Now entering the final season of his initial, rookie contract, Taylor is poised to not only get back to the Super Bowl, but lead a team himself.

And Taylor owes much of how he got to this point to his career at Virginia Tech, where he returned for the Hokies' spring game April 26. He took part in the presidential dinner and David Clowney charity bowl the night before and was on the field for the game.

"The people in Blacksburg and in this area showed a lot of support throughout my team being here," Taylor said. "Anytime I can come back, it's just a good feeling and just good to get back. I can't get back as much as I want. It's not far, but it's far enough, especially during the end of the season and it's hard to get back. This is the one time a year I can get back, see the coaches, just see familiar faces in the community and interact with people."

Taylor looks back fondly on his Hokies career. There he won three ACC championships and the Orange Bowl and had a few big-time games, including one he won't forget, a come-from-behind win over Nebraska in 2009.

"It was four good years here," Taylor said. "We had a lot of wins in games, some great seasons, memorable seasons, memorable games. They recognize my face and they see me a lot, but just to come back, interact with people and let 'em know that I am human, I have fun just like everybody else."

Taylor is ready to prove himself as a quarterback. He's also ready for another season as a Raven, before looking at his next step in the NFL.

"It's been a learning experience, everything," Taylor said. "I think I've matured a lot since my first year being there. I've learned a lot from Joe (Flacco), just learned a lot from Coach (John) Harbaugh and the team. I'm looking forward to going into my contract year and going out there and just continue to keep producing, stacking pre-season games and taking advantage of the opportunities that I get throughout the season."

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