4.0 student-athlete Aristotle Taylor has signed his National Letter of Intent and is headed to Stanford University to play football in the fall of 2021.
A former gamer, Aristotle had not played football in high school, and until later in his junior year, his body was physically undeveloped for the game. He approached Head Football Coach Adam Korzeniewski in response to an announcement that the football team needed a student manager to help at the end of his junior season. He landed the position, ended up on the playing field, and is now ranked the 33rd defensive end in the country.
Aristotle’s stats are 6′ 9,” 240 lb, and boasts a 7′ wingspan. With his size and skill, Taylor quickly catapulted into recruitment. In December, his college football options exploded into almost every Ivy League program, and interest from larger Division 1 schools and scholarship offers came pouring in. By signing day, he had narrowed his top offers to Stanford, Michigan, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and Yale.
Taylor is the youngest son of Erin and the late Kenneth Taylor of Birmingham, Michigan. Football is in his blood. His grandfather, Larry T. Dressell, played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both of his older brothers played football as well.
Aristotle liked basketball and had no interest in playing football. After playing basketball at Brother Rice his freshman year, he took a break. His father had unexpectedly died and he had turned to video games for solace. He needed time to grieve, but coaches were still prodding him to play basketball.
It took two years to work out his emotions and work on himself. His respite was video games. He became a competitive gamer of Fortnight. When his computer could not compete with international players, he built his own computer at fourteen years old. He won competitions at Microsoft for professional gaming, and he gained peace.
At Brother Rice, he enrolled in AP classes and worked on his grades. The year his father passed, his GPA was 3.4, by junior year, he was earning over a 4.0 GPA, which he maintains as a senior. Focus and self-determination became his allies.
In those two years, he ate and slept a lot. He grew another 7 inches. He found solidarity and Brotherhood with his classmates at Brother Rice. Aristotle’s father told him every day of his life, “You are brilliant, and I love you. You are going to do big things in your life.”
During the pandemic, he watched a friend working out at the YMCA. Aristotle asked him to teach him his routine. In four months, Aristotle went from hours on the computer to hours at the Gym.
Coach Korzeniewski had met Aristotle during his freshman year and came to all his basketball games. He encouraged Aristotle to try out for football to no avail. Coach K would see him walking in the halls as he continued to grow and would high-five Aristotle, checking in to see how he was doing. He continually reminded Aristotle where the football office was and invited him to work out with him any time. That connection, that persistence paid off. The rest, as they say, is history.
The decision of a lifetime. Choosing a school came down to the top options for his future endeavors. Aristotle and his Mother went back and forth over who had the best offer and which school was the best fit. They differed in opinions on school but not on the idea of following your heart.
As the coaches and recruiters turned up the pressure, Aristotle stayed grounded. He kept his routine, gained a few more pounds, and most importantly, continued his studies and practiced gratitude. He took his time, with his heart ultimately leading him to Standford.
Aristotle will join fellow Warrior student-athlete Udodi Onwuzurike who signed his letter of intent for track earlier in February. College Counselor Amanda Miller proudly shares, “While Dodi and Aristotle’s athletic talents are exceptional, they are rivaled by their outstanding academic talents. Both are champions inside their classrooms – each challenging Brother Rice’s curriculum in Honors and AP classes since they were freshmen. This year as seniors, the duo are each maintaining a 4.0 trend. They are true student-athletes.”
Brother Rice High School could not be more proud of these two exceptional student-athletes.