2014 DII Mr. Football Finalist --
LEBANON -- Friendship Christian senior Austin Taylor signed scholarship papers Wednesday Morning with Bethel University in McKenzie, an NAIA program in the Mid-South Conference.
Taylor, a finalist for Division II Mr. Football, rushed for over 1,900 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior -- helping lead the Commanders to a record of 10-2 and a berth in the second round of the TSSAA playoffs.
"Bethel is getting an 'old school' guy," said FCS head coach John McNeal. "Austin never wanted to come out of the game. He played both sides of the ball and played through some injuries. He's accustomed to hard work. This kid loves the game and was just looking for someone to give him an opportunity."
As a linebacker, Taylor (6-1, 190) accounted for 71 tackles, including six for loss.
"I fell in love with the place on my visit," Taylor said. "The players and the coaching staff were great. They want me to come in as a running back and I'm looking forward to it."
Taylor is leaning toward a major in Biology with an eye toward a career in environmental law.
A Division II all-state selection by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association, he is the son of Chris and Toni Taylor of Mt. Juliet.
Bethel's Wildcats are coming off a 5-6 season in 2014.