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Sean Taylor, 1983-2007

After a day on the brink, Sean Taylor died early this morning from a gunshot wound suffered in his home early Monday. It destroyed an artery in one of his million dollar legs and he lost too much blood.

I don't know if Sean Taylor was a good guy or what kind of personal life he led, but I do know he was one of the most visibly dominant defensive players of the day, a freakish standout even amidst a championship Miami defenses stocked sideline to sideline with freakish standouts. He was big and sleek, a prototype, a deserving all-American, intercepted two passes in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl and was the best player on the field in a heavyweight Orange Bowl fight against Florida State a year later.

Today, he's the second Hurricane or ex-Hurricane to fall to gunfire in a year, after Bryan Pata's violent death almost exactly 12 months ago. Departed safety Brandon Meriweather was fired at and returned fire at a car last summer. This is what Randy Shannon is trying to change there above all else.