The small wide receiver form Mesquite is now on the game's biggest stage. Taylor Gabriel, who beat the odds just to get there, can help the Atlanta Falcons win the Super Bowl.
He was almost always the shortest player on the field growing up. He was undersized at Mesquite Horn High School and most colleges ignored him.
He was undersized at Abilene Christian, and all he did was set several school records. He was undersized by the NFL's standards and went undrafted in 2014.
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His high school coach, Rodney Webb, was in his first year at Horn when he coached Gabriel as a senior.
"He's got the nickname 'Turbo' now, but he wasn't an exceptionally fast kid in high school. He didn't have the eye-popping track numbers that coaches at that time expected to see," said Webb. "Not only did he not get any Division-1 scholarship offers, he didn't get any Division-1AA scholarship offers. It was only Division-2 schools, and really just a couple of those schools that showed interest."
When Gabriel was 15-years-old, his mother dropped him off at school and handed him $2 for the day. A few hours later, she died unexpectedly because of an aneurysm. Gabriel carries those $2 everywhere he goes in memory of his mother and for motivation.
"I know that's been very much his inspiration, behind the scenes, to make his mom proud," said Webb.
The Cleveland Browns cut Gabriel just days before Week 1 of the 2016 season after a 2-year stint there. He found a home in Atlanta and quickly turned into one of the most dangerous play-makers in the NFL. He led the Falcons in touchdown receptions.
Every NFL team passed on Gabriel, including the Dallas Cowboys. They hosted the local wide receiver at Valley Ranch during a pre-draft visit.