Johnathan Taylor was honored by the Tempe Sports Authority Monday.
March 20, 2012
TEMPE, AZ.-----University of Georgia senior Johnathan Taylor was honored with a Courage Award Monday night from the Tempe Sports Authority Foundation.
Taylor was one of four athletes from around the country honored at the 19th annual Courage Awards banquet at the Marriott Buttes Resort. Established in 1994, the annual event celebrates exceptional men and women athletes who triumph over individual obstacles, rise above physical challenges or have overcome significant injury to persevere and achieve their goals. They are role models who demonstrate heroism in the face of adversity and inspire young people nationwide.
Taylor, a native of Acworth, Ga., returned to UGA this semester to continue his studies and serve as a student assistant with the nationally ranked baseball program. A three-year starting outfielder for the Bulldogs, Taylor suffered a serious neck injury that bruised his spinal cord last March while diving for a line drive in a game. Taylor maintains a daily rehabilitation schedule with the UGA Athletic Association Sports Medicine staff and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. A Consumer Economics major and member of the UGA Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, he posted a .312 career batting average and appeared in 117 games in his Georgia career. In the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, the Texas Rangers selected Taylor in the 33rd round. Taylor, and his mother Tandra, attended Monday’s awards banquet.
All four athletes gave a brief speech at the event. Along with Taylor, Joe Brown, Tommy John and Tiffany Tate were honored. Brown is a former NFL defensive lineman who suffered a brain injury while serving with the United States Army in Iraq in 2007. Currently, he is the driving force behind a sports program in the Fort Hood (Texas) area for veterans, soldiers and civilians with injuries and disabilities. John was a four-time All-Star Major League pitcher who was the first to have a revolutionary surgical procedure that extended his career and now bears his name. He now serves as a scouting advisor and liaison to Major League Baseball for MK Sports Group. Tate, an Arizona native who did not let cystic fibrosis keep her from an active athletic career, played four years of high school basketball. Currently, she works as an assistant basketball coach at a local high school in Arizona.
Former Bulldog All-American golfer Erik Compton was a 2001 recipient of a Courage Award. Proceeds of the banquet, emceed by Daron Sutton, help fund community youth-oriented non-profit organizations and scholarship programs.
Taylor is scheduled to return to campus Tuesday and be back with his teammates as they face rival Georgia Tech at Foley Field at 7:05 p.m. Georgia is 15-6 and ranked as high as No. 17 this week.