ARLINGTON, Texas (WGNO) — Saturday night in San Antonio, it is another milestone in the XFL championship game for a kicker still chasing his dream days shy of his 34th birthday.
His journey is interesting to say the least.
In 2014, Taylor Russolino was kicking for the New Orleans Voodoo. He’s kicked in seven different leagues including one game in the NFL with the Denver Broncos in 2020 and some time on the practice squad there, too.
His ride has been at times turbulent, and he says far from finished.
WGNO Sports asked Russolino if he ever considered giving up.
“I did not,” he said. “Never truly considered it. There may have been moments or glimpses, where it is like this is impossible. Never really truly said ‘I am done with this, no.”
Russolino has made 16 of 19 field goals this season, including ones from 53 and 56 yards which is pretty amazing considering that he was a soccer player at Rummel High School. When the team’s kicker, Robby Broach missed a game to play in a national baseball event, coaches Jay Roth and Tim Burns were scurrying for a replacement.
“[They] grabbed me out of P.E. and brought to the football field,” explained Russolino. “They all tried to be my coach. none of them knew anything, but I started showing them I could kick it far and kick it straight.”
Russolino is hoping for a kicking invite from an NFL team, soon after he finishes his duties Saturday night at the Alamodome.
The Millsaps alum has already had a great past year. Seven and a half months ago, Taylor and his wife, Gabrielle, welcomed son, Palmer, into the world.
Russolino said his wife has always backed the chasing of his dream.
“She has been my biggest supporter, obviously, and my parents,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here today without her – that’s 100 perecnt sure. she’s been awesome, since day one. Never, ‘What are you doing? Why are you doing this?’ Never an once of doubt from her.”
And there’s never an ounce of doubt from Taylor.
Sixteen years ago, by chance, he was given an opportunity to change his life, and he simply will not let that chance go to waste.
The XFL Championship game will be broadcast live on WGNO and ABC on Saturday at 7 p.m.