Josh Kendall

After 'stressful' NFL Draft, Stallworth happy to be headed (close to) home

There are football-related reasons Taylor Stallworth chose to sign with the New Orleans Saints last week, but the biggest one had to do with geography.

“It’s close to home for me,” the Mobile, Ala., native said. “I just liked the environment of it.”

Stallworth, a former South Carolina defensive tackle, was not selected in the seven rounds of last week’s NFL Draft, but signed a free agent contract with the Saints shortly after the draft was completed.

“I had a couple phone calls during the draft, after the draft, but I really liked what the Saints had to offer, what their scheme is, 4-3, something I like,” Stallworth said. “They had a real good year last year. I like how that team is. It’s a brotherhood.”

Stallworth, 6-foot-2, 305 pounds, started all 26 games in his final two years at South Carolina. In four years with the Gamecocks, he had 87 tackles, a sack and 12 quarterback hurries while started 31 games. He expected to get drafted due to that production, he said.

“The past couple days have been real stressful, but I’m happy with the opportunity I have with the Saints,” he said. “I’m just excited to get things started next week with them, give them my all. Just get better every single day. I’m blessed with the opportunity I have right now, and I want to take full advantage.”