Los Angeles Rams Safety Taylor Rapp has made his mark at every stop along his football journey. After graduating from Sehome High School in Bellingham, WA, Rapp signed with the University of Washington.
Upon joining the Huskies Football Team, Rapp made an immediate impact. In his freshman season, Rapp won the 2016 PAC-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year Award and was a First-Team Freshman All-American. In his sophomore season, Rapp was named to the 2017 First-Team All-PAC 12 Team. To cap off his college career, in his junior season, Rapp was again named to the 2018 First-Team All-PAC 12 Team and named a First-Team All-American.
Rapp was then drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2nd Round (61st Overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft. Since entering the league, Rapp has made an immediate splash, leading the Rams to two playoff appearances, including winning Super Bowl LVI. Additionally, in the 2021 season, Rapp won Week #6 NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Now in his fourth NFL season, Rapp shared why he’s taking action to protect his brain, what he wants life to look like after football and why, starting this year, he’s wearing the Q-Collar:
What made you ultimately decide to try the Q-Collar?
“I decided to try the Q-Collar because I wanted to take any precautionary step that’s available to help protect my brain. With football being such a violent sport, we take so many hits. It’s not necessarily the one big hit that is the worst, rather, it’s the many small hits that add up over time throughout the season. So, anything that I can do to help protect my brain for my family, to help me stay on the field and to help give me that extra confidence to play the style of football that I do. Being a Defensive Back, or a Defensive Player in general, you can’t play scared. You have to go out there with full confidence. The Q-Collar definitely gives me that confidence on the field.”
Have you thought about what you want life to look like after football?
“Yeah, I’ve definitely thought about life after football. That’s another reason why I want to wear the Q-Collar. I want to protect my head, protect my brain and promote longevity. I think my wife and I are at a point in our lives where we are thinking about having kids and a family. Anything I can do to protect my longevity and to make sure I’m healthy for as long as possible, I’m going to do. You hear about guys all the time with CTE who’ve had multiple concussions throughout their career and I don’t want to be one of them.”
Do you think wearing the Q-Collar will help prolong your career?
“Yes. I think wearing the Q-Collar will definitely help me play longer. Honestly, it will probably add a few years to my career, just in terms of the extra protection I’ll get from all of the cumulative hits, especially with the NFL adding an additional game to the schedule. When you include training camp, where you’re taking hits, it’s a long season. Just wearing something as simple as the Q-Collar out on the football field is just such an easy way to make sure you’re doing as much as you can to protect yourself.”
Do your teammates ask you questions about the Q-Collar? If so, what kinds of questions do they ask?
“Yes. They’re always ask me what I’m wearing around my neck. Just generally speaking, when most players see players wearing a piece of equipment for the first time, they are always curious about what it’s for and how it would help them. I’ve been passing them around the locker room so my teammates can try it on and see what it feels like. A lot of guys have already asked me if I can get them one. They definitely want to test it out and see what it’s all about.”
What would you tell an athlete or parent whose considering purchasing the Q-Collar?
“I’d tell parents or an athlete that’s considering purchasing the Q-Collar that it’s the next biggest thing. I think the Q-Collar is going to be huge. It’s going to blow up. In the next few years, the majority of contact sports are going to have everyone wearing Q-Collars. For a parent, deploying their kid out to play football is a scary thing, especially at the youth level. Kids don’t really know how to tackle properly and in a safe way. So, anything you can do to give an extra layer of protection, you should do.”
To hear more from Taylor, check out this video.