“This is where I’m from, this is where I was born and raised. This place made me into the man I am today,” said New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Taylor Stallworth.
The former Murphy Panther was back at his old stomping grounds this week to be honored by his former team.
“I just thought they were retiring the jersey I played in, I didn’t know they were doing a whole day for me,” said Stallworth. “I want to thank coach for that. It’s special because I only know two other people that had this honor: Captain Munnerlyn and K. J. Maye.”
Having your number retired is an honor for any athlete, but for the Stallworth the number seven has some extra special meaning.
“My grandma was born on November 7th and her favorite number is seven. My whole life growing up I also played baseball and I wore seven. I decided I’d dedicate my senior year (football) to my grandma because she was dealing with cancer. So I switched my number to seven for her,” said Stallworth.
Stallworth still has a seven in his number with the Saints, but now he’s sporting 76.
The basic principles he learned during his time at Murphy carried him to where he is today, and being back on his old field brought back a flood of memories.
“There was a lot of blood sweat and tears,” said the defensive lineman. “It’s crazy, all the guys I build relationships with and bond with, some of my closest friends to this day I played on this field with.”