As part of a new Featured Player content series, SoccerWire will be publishing Q&A articles with recently-committed players who are Featured in the SoccerWire Player Directory. The series will allow players to share their stories on the college recruiting process, travel and high school soccer, and their passion for the beautiful game.
In this edition we will showcase Taylor Person, who is a junior forward with the FC Dallas ECNL U17 team and a student at Lovejoy High School. She has verbally committed to playing college soccer in 2024 at the University of Oregon.
SoccerWire Featured Player since June 2021
SoccerWire: What made you decide to verbally commit to the University of Oregon?
Taylor Person: Everyone always says you get a feeling when you’re on campus or at a school when you know it’s the right one. That’s exactly what I felt at Oregon, and that I didn’t feel at other schools where I went on visits. I knew I was home and exactly where I was supposed to be.
On my visit, I got to meet the team and talk with all the staff members, and they made me feel so comfortable and confident I could succeed there. I’m most looking forward to playing with my future teammates and growing as a player with my future coaches.
SW: What stuck out to you about Oregon as opposed to some of the other schools that you were considering?
TP: Since I was little, Oregon has always been a dream school for me. I was born in Oregon, and my family was always supporting them growing up. As time went on I began to have interest in other colleges I might want to play at but Oregon was always in the back of my mind. My older brother is a freshman at Oregon, so when I went to visit him in October I got to see Eugene for the first time in a couple of years, and College Gameday was there on campus, and the atmosphere was amazing. I immediately knew this was where I wanted to be and continue my soccer career.
I really enjoyed meeting other coaches and learning about other schools, but at the end of the day, they weren’t Oregon.
SW: What was the college recruitment process like and what did you learn about yourself while going through it?
TP: When my recruiting opened up I was 4 months post op from ACL surgery and wasn’t getting a ton of interest from colleges. I was a month away from getting cleared to start non contact and resume soccer activities, so that helped me as a motivator to keep working and I believed that my time would come once I got back to the game.
I like to look at it as not an injury, but a blessing in disguise. It gave me a few months to revamp my love for the game and learn so much more about myself mentally and physically. I learned the importance of recovery, what my body needs strength wise a week as an athlete, what showing up everyday can do for you, etc. I’m 13 months post op and my recovery is still going as I’m doing everything I can do to prevent my knee from having problems again. I feel this whole process has really prepared me to excel at Oregon.
SW: How has playing for FC Dallas helped you in your soccer career?
TP: I’ve been so fortunate to play with a number of amazing and talented teammates at FC Dallas, and being able to grow with and compete against such a strong group everyday has made me a better player and teammate.
As a club, FC Dallas has amazing facilities and a great mix of top coaches that I’ve been able to work with over the years.
SW: Do you have any pregame routines or rituals that you like to do before game?
TP: My pre-game meal is Eggs, Avocado Toast, Banana and Peanut Butter
From a routine standpoint, I love to listen to music to get myself mentally locked in. When I’m on the field getting ready, I have a series of band activation exercises that help me get ready.
SW: Outside of soccer, what clubs and organizations are you involved with?
TP: For my school, I’m in Athletic training, National Honor Society, and also run track.
SW: What is your pump up song that you like to listen to before a game?
TP: Jimmy Cooks by Drake
SW: What are you interested in studying at Oregon?
TP: Human Physiology
SW: If you could give one piece of advice to a younger player who is interested in learning more about the college recruiting process what would it be?
TP: Even when roadblocks come your way, it’s placed there as a learning opportunity for you to grow as a person and an athlete. If you have patience the right opportunities will come your way if you constantly work for it.
SW: Is there anyone that you would like to send a shout out to?
TP: My family is the main reason I am in this position today because of their constant faith in me and sacrifice throughout the years. They have put me in position to be nothing short of my achieving my dreams.