The Arizona State football team will not claim a national championship if it wins the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Saturday at AT&T Park. The game against Navy will not get the national attention of the bigger games pitting conference champions against one another.
For Grandville Taylor, however, there’s no bowl game he’d rather play in. Playing a college football game in The City is literally a dream come true for the San Francisco native.
Taylor said he had a dream while he was a sophomore or junior at Washington High School.
“I didn’t have the full vision of where it would be,” he said. “But I was playing college football in front of my friends and my family. It was my time, you know. And for some reason, everything happened the right way and it led to me accomplishing all my goals that I set out for.”
Taylor said he has already received dozens of phone calls seeking tickets to the game. If ASU’s past trips to the Bay Area to play Cal — the team Taylor rooted for growing up — are any indication, he should have plenty of support.
“I feel like I have all of San Francisco on my back with me,” he said.
Though he has mostly played special teams for the Sun Devils, Taylor said simply being in the Pac-12 Conference means a lot to him.
“Growing up as a Cal fan in the Bay Area and seeing all these teams,” he said, “Cal Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford. Those Division I schools, that was always a part of my dream to be a part of those type of organizations, those type of programs.”
He walked on to the team as a redshirt freshman in 2009, earned academic All-Pac-10 honors as a sophomore and again this season as a junior, and played in every game in 2011 on special teams and as a backup linebacker.
Taylor said he realizes he must pay his dues if he is going to move forward in his goal of one day reaching the NFL, though there are more immediate goals on the way.
“It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL,” he said. “And don’t get me wrong, I’ve been playing special teams for a couple years here. I’ve just been having to pay my dues. I walked on to the team, and of course I want to start.
“Of course I want to play and do all that and become a star here and just continue to win. That’s the biggest thing. I want to win a championship. I want to win the Rose Bowl here.”
With one dream about to be fulfilled, it’s hard to bet against him as he pushes on to the next one.