LOGAN, Utah – Former Utah State football great Altie Taylor passed away Sunday (March 14) at the age of 62, at his home in Sacramento, Calif.Taylor lettered at Utah State from 1966-68, Taylor is the USU record holder for longest kickoff return with a 105-yard TD return in 1967 against West Texas State (now West Texas A&M), a mark that will stand forever due to the NCAA ruling that all kickoff returns from the end zone will only count as 100 yards. He also holds the No. 5 spot with a 98-yard kickoff return for a TD against Wichita State in 1968.In the NCAA record book, Taylor still holds the No. 6 spot for career kickoff return average with a 29.3 yards per return average. Taylor was the 1967 NCAA statistical champion for kickoff return average with a 31.9 ypr season-average.Taylor, who finished his USU career at the No. 2 spot on USU’s career rushing list, is currently No. 9 on the list with 1,959 yards, as well as No. 7 for career rushing attempts with 415 attempts, ranking tied for eighth for career rushing average (4.9 ypc). He also is tied for 10th on the Aggies’ career rushing TD list with 13.Taylor played in the 1969 All-Star Professional Game as well as the 1969 North-South Bowl.Taylor was the Lions’ first selection in the 1969 draft as one of the club’s two second-round picks, at No. 34 overall, after a standout career at Utah State. A strong, quick 5-10, 200-pound back, Taylor led the Lions in rushing three straight seasons (1972-74). He was voted the club’s offensive MVP in ’73 after rushing for 719 yards and three touchdowns.Taylor ended his seven-year career (1969-75) with the Lions as the club’s all-time leading rusher with 4,297 yards after he passed previous leader Nick Pietrosante during the 1975 season. He currently ranks fourth in Lions’ career rushing behind Barry Sanders (15,269), Billy Sims (5,106) and Dexter Bussey (5,105). Taylor finished his career with Houston in 1976.Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by the Dan Scales Funeral Home in Pittsburg, CA (107 W. 8th Street, Pittsburg, CA 94565; 925-439-5922).-USU-
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