Safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson is a leader on defense
I have to admit that back in 2019 when Tech took a flier on a high school running back from Oklahoma named Dadrion Taylor-Demerson and converted him to safety, I was skeptical. At just 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds while sporting the nickname “Rabbit”, he just didn’t scream All-Big 12 potential at such a physical and critically important position.
However, he’s now entering his final season as a Red Raider and it is going to be tough to figure out how to replace him in 2024 because he’s been nothing but a consistent playmaker in the secondary. Yet, for some reason, likely because he’s just become so reliable that we tend to take him for granted, he isn’t garnering the praise and the hype that some of his teammates are this summer.
With 135 tackles combined over the last two seasons, he is coming off of a career-best 73 tackles a season ago. In addition, he also had 5.5 tackles for loss and three picks (his second year in a row to have three INTS).
What might be the most eye-popping stat concerning Taylor-Demerson’s 2022 season, though, might be the 5 pass defenses he was credited with. Seemingly always in the right position to make a play, “Rabbit” is one of the players that make the Tech defense click.
For years, Tech has has a reliable safety patrolling the middle of the field. Whether it was Cody Davis (2009-2012), Jah’Shawn Johnson (2014-2018), or even a guy like Darcel McBath (2005-2008), there have been fantastic safeties coming out of West Texas for years.
While Taylor-Demerson is not going to garner much NFL hype given his small stature, he belongs in the conversation as one of the best defensive backs in the Big 12 given how many plays he makes on a weekly basis and he’s a player Tech fans should be talking about more frequently as one of the key members of what is expected to be a good Red Raider defense.