Jeff Brohm: I knew we wanted him when we saw him play basketball

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday May 07, 2017

Photo credit: Lafayette Journal & Courier

Former Western Kentucky wide receiver Taywan Taylor was a third-round pick in the NFL Draft, and it was a basketball background that drew the attention of Jeff Brohm as a recruit.

Taylor was picked by the Titans, and Brohm joined 102.5 The Game in Nashville to talk about his former player. At a school like WKU — and even Purdue now — Brohm and his staff need to find diamonds in the rough. That’s what they got with Taylor, a 2-star recruit out of high school.

“It’s up to us to find the hidden gems. With Taywan Taylor, what we liked was he was a multiple-sport guy, which is what we prefer — a guy that can do more than just football,” Brohm said. “He was a basketball player, and we didn’t offer him until late in the process, because he didn’t have a whole lot of film, catching some bubble screens.

I saw him play basketball live in person. He played outstanding defense, he could bend, he was explosive in the legs, he played extremely hard. From there, I knew, hey, we want this guy. This is something we can work with. When he came in, was he where he needed to be? No, but no one is. He was extremely competitive, a hard worker, got better each year, and he was outstanding his last two, three years.”

RELATED: Nearly 90 percent of 2017 picks played multiple sports

Despite losing multiple coaches to bigger jobs in his three years at WKU, Brohm & Co. continued to develop players, and that’s the task at Purdue.

Brohm admits wide receiver isn’t exactly Purdue’s strongest position in 2017, but the development from coaches will be key. The Boilermakers were No. 101 nationally in scoring last year, while WKU was No. 1.

“As you get to so-called Power 5 and you’re playing great competition every week, you’ve got to find a way to get the best players in, and whoever you get in, you have to develop them,” he said. “That’s one thing we do pride ourselves on here. You’ve got to be able to develop players, push them and motivate them and not read the headlines and want to hear the good things.

“With where we’re at now, we’ve got to get a lot better, so we have to work with the guys we have here, make the game fun and exciting, and make it fun to watch. You have to play a unique brand, and we try to bring that wherever we’re at.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to