Wherever he played, first at Woodruff High School, then in the Big Eight wars at the University of Missouri and then for the New Orleans Saints in the National Football Leagues, James Taylor made his presence felt.
Taylor, now residing in Columbia, Missouri, was one of the biggest and best linemen ever to play in local prep circles.
He was selected to the Mid-State 9 All-Conference defensive team in 1972 as a 245-pound junior and made both the offensive and defensive squads in his senior year at 285 pounds. He also was an All-State selection his senior year and was also a standout wrestler; he finished fifth in the state his junior season and then third as a senior.
At Missouri he was selected to the Big Eight Conference team in 1977 as a senior and played in both the Blue-Gray Game and the Senior Bowl following his final season.
He was a Playboy magazine pre-season All-American in 1977 and was a third team All-American in post-season voting.
The Saints made him their second draft choice in 1978 and. he spent four seasons in the NFL. His first two Saints teams went 7-9 and 8-8 before the team lost 27 of 32 games his final two years.
After his four years with the NFL, James played the 1984 season with the World Football League, Oklahoma Outlaws. When his pro football career ended, he returned to the University of Missouri and finished his B.S. degree in recreation.
James Michael Taylor now resides in Columbia, Missouri with his wife Debbie and son Michael.