Michael Taaffe is currently a former walk-on for the Texas football team.
A sophomore defensive back who attended nearby Westlake High, Taaffe joined the Longhorns as a preferred walk-on last season.
A video posted on the football team’s social media accounts shows head coach Steve Sarkisian leading a team meeting. As he concluded his lecture, Sarkisian pointed to Taaffe and announced, “One last word, Michael Taaffe, you are on a scholarship.” Taaffe was then attacked by his teammates.
Taaffe did not appear in a game during his first year with the Texas football team, but this season saw his playing time increase dramatically. Used on both special teams and safety, Taaffe produced 25 tackles and a pass breakup. His 13 of these tackles were recorded in back-to-back games at Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
“Michael did a great job. From the moment he stepped onto campus, nothing was ever too big for him,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said last month. “You didn’t know…he was a walk-on. You didn’t know he was a true freshman.
“I think he has natural leadership abilities. Teams are drawn to him. There’s a reason he’s on our leadership council as a sophomore walk-on, and it’s because It’s carried over to his play. He knows multiple positions. He knows defense very well. is.”
Taaffe ran once and appeared in all 12 UT games. Texas (8-4) will next face Washington (10-2) at the Alamo Bowl on December 29.
Taaffe serves on the team’s leadership council. He was also the host of Arch Manning, a five-star recruit.