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Prior to the start of the 2007 NFL season, Sports Illustrated named Sean Taylor one of the hardest hitting players in the NFL.
Before his hard tackling days as a Washington Redskin, Taylor was a high school football standout in Florida, where he played running back, linebacker and defensive back.
Taylor went on to go to the University of Miami for three years. In his junior season, he dominated opposing offenses and was a Jim Thorpe Award finalist, an award given to the nation's best defensive back.
Following his stellar college career, Taylor entered the 2004 NFL Draft, where he was drafted fifth overall by the Washington Redskins.
Taylor enjoyed immediate success as a safety, claiming the team's starting sport by the third game. He finished the year with 89 tackles, two forced fumbles, nine passes defended and four interceptions.
On the field, Taylor excelled and never looked back. Off the field, however, was a different story. Taylor was involved in some questionable behavior.
In 2004, Taylor was arrested for suspected drunk driving after being pulled over going 82 mph on a 55mph highway.
In 2005, Taylor was arrested yet again for armed assault after he was present at an incident in which bullets were fired into a stolen vehicle. He was charged for aggravated assault with a firearm, which is a felony. Taylor had allegedly pointed a gun at somebody regarding a dispute over ATV vehicles.
After that incident, however, things began to change for Taylor. Before the 2007 season, Taylor acknowledged that he needed to change his life.
"You play a kid's game for a king's ransom," he said. "If you don't take it serious enough, eventually one day you're going to say, 'Oh I could have done this, I could have done that.'"
On an early November morning in 2007, Taylor was shot in the leg by an intruder in his Florida home, the bullet piercing his femoral artery. His long-time girlfriend and 18-month-old daughter hid under the bed and called police after the burglar had left.
Taylor was quickly airlifted to the hospital but fell into a coma due to massive blood loss. Taylor underwent surgery, but he would never awaken. He died the next day.
A week after his death, 4,000 people, including the entire Redskins organization, attended Taylor's funeral.
At the service, Taylor's uncle, Michael Outar spoke at one of the eulogies.
"I wanted him to play running back or quarterback and score all the touchdowns. The coach gave Sean number 66 and put him on the line," Outar said. "Before the game he said, 'Uncle Michael, what do I do?' I said, 'Hit the guy with the ball.' And that's what he did, over and over."