Always on The Move

Story by Reggie Hayes | Photography by Jeffrey Crane (BA ’97)

Antoine Taylor (BSW ’02) could always shift directions, improvise, spot an opening and make the big play. That was his trademark style as a quarterback at the University of Saint Francis. It’s still his trademark style today as an entrepreneur.

To catch Taylor standing still is as likely as spotting a snowflake in Fort Wayne on the 4th of July—so rare as to be almost unimaginable.

Taylor has worked as a professional football player, a case manager with Allen County Community Corrections, a manager with Lincoln Financial, a program director with The Mentor Network, a private client relationship/business banker with JP Morgan Chase, a private wholesale semi-truck tire distributor, a used car dealership representative, and—always skilled with a side hustle—a barber. (His barber skills? Honed as a USF undergraduate trying to make ends meet.)

Today, Taylor owns and operates Matrix QB Training, helping young football players through professionals learn how to play quarterback on the field and in life.

“I feel like I’ve been called, and I’ve discovered my purpose where I can have the greatest impact,” Taylor said. “God has given me a special gift to see the game of football a certain way. In explaining that to people, I think they feel it, and it’s genuinely what I was called to do.”

Taylor helps players improve their throwing mechanics, play-calling skills and body development approaches through Matrix QB Training. But the biggest difference in his business lies in the broader nature of how he’s leading players. He’s guiding young players to move, shift and see the bigger picture beyond the lines.

“Our mantra is that quarterback is not a position, it’s a lifestyle,” Taylor said. “It’s who you are on the field, off the field, in the classroom, in the cafeteria, at home, in your community. If you embody that mantra, you have a different perspective on your responsibilities and your role in your community. Our idea is creating entrepreneurs using the platform of quarterbacking.”

Taylor first considered the idea for Matrix QB Training years ago when his friend and fellow USF football alumnus, Michael Ledo (BS ’06), started a training business which grew into the highly respected and successful Athletes With Purpose (AWP). Ledo is now owner and CEO of Rise Sports Advisors.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown eventually sidelined Taylor’s wholesale tire distribution company, he invested in some soul searching and revisited his idea for training quarterbacks in the game—and the game of life.

“Our goal for 2023 is to have 120 quarterbacks in our program consistently, across all ages,” Taylor said. “Last year, we had just over 50 we were working with as part of our membership packages, but we touched over 700 quarterbacks in the country through camps and showcases. We have put together a model and a plan over the next four to five years where we dramatically expand to be national. We expect to be national, then soon after we will be worldwide.”

Taylor guides all ages—he recently worked with potential pros prepping for the NFL Combine and other opportunities—and says an ideal “sweet spot” for young athletes to realize they have the desire and skills to be a quarterback is sixth or seventh grade. He talks with parents about their child’s potential. Perhaps most importantly, he lets the young athlete know “you may be good, but you gotta earn it every year, day in and day out,” and he has the means to take their skills and vision to 
a higher level.

Now as a John C. Maxwell Leadership Certified Team Member, Taylor seeks to “holistically develop the human, that plays the position of quarterback” in tandem with teaching the essential quarterback skills.

“Most of these kids are not going to end up playing in the NFL. One percent of the 1% get a shot at the NFL. But they are going to be in their communities. They are going to be business owners and CEOs and husbands and fathers and 
we can help them grow in the right ways.”

Taylor credits his wife, Lavina, with encouraging him to stay on the move, develop his business model and use his calling to help others. Taylor’s son, Duce, is a quarterback at Morgan State University, and his daughter, Jordyn, the family’s young chef, is in middle school.

“I may not be as young as in my playing days, but I don’t feel old,” Taylor said. “I feel young and energized. My mission is to build this thing and impact the world.”