Big 12 Campus Correspondent
The Texas Tech defense has had many standout players this season. However, two of them have a little more in common than just being members of the 10-0 Red Raider squad.
Daniel and Taylor Charbonnet are brothers, who for the first time in their football careers get to play on the same team. Because of their age difference, Daniel and Taylor were unable to play together in high school.
Taylor, the younger of the two, said it has been great playing with his older brother.
“It’s a cool opportunity,” Taylor said, “because not everyone gets the chance to do it.”
Taylor said Daniel playing for the Red Raiders had a big influence on his decision to play at Tech.
“I mean I was a fan my junior and senior year,” Taylor said, “so, once they offered, I knew that was where I needed to be.”
This is Taylor’s first season to play for Tech, and he looks forward to following in his brother’s footsteps. In his first year he has made some noteworthy tackles and has been seen in several different aspects of the special teams unit. One impressive statistic was his blocked field goal attempt against Eastern Washington - a first for Tech since 2002.
Clay McGuire, assistant coach for Tech’s special teams unit, said Taylor’s versatility is one thing that sets him apart from the rest.
“He can do anything (on special teams),” McGuire said. “I can have him as a return guy, play him on the coverage teams, he has been on punt return, he has blocked field goals, he does a great job anywhere on the field.”
Daniel agreed saying one of Taylor’s best attributes is his speed.
“He is really fast,” Daniel said. “He uses his speed really well.”
McGuire noted both have a unique sense of the game, but Taylor has a lot to learn from his brother.
Daniel has turned out to be quite the role model for his younger brother. Daniel had his first career start against Eastern Washington, and has started every game since. He tied the school record for interceptions in a game with three against SMU, and has picked off five already this season. He has recorded 53 tackles this season, earning the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week twice.
Taylor said one of Daniel’s best attributes is his instinct.
“He does a good job of knowing where the ball is and going to it,” Taylor said.
Safeties coach Carlos Mainord said it is a combination of competitiveness, intelligence and athletic ability that makes Daniel a great player.
“He studies the game,” Mainord said, “and has great anticipation and instincts for what the offense is going to do.”
Taylor said Daniel gives good advice and he has learned a lot from his brother.
“He’s always there to encourage me in practice,” Taylor said, laughing, “and to let me know when I screw up.”
Apparently the role of a big brother doesn’t change whether it is on or off the football field. The one thing the brothers agreed on was that playing with one another is truly a fun experience, and one they will never forget.
Mainord commented that although they differ in size and speed, one thing is similar between the Charbonnet brothers - their work ethic.
“They both take coaching well,” Mainord said. “It’s a tribute to their family that they have a great work ethic, and that’s what it takes to make a good player.”