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Decatur High graduate Taye Biddle is entering his second season with the Carolina Panthers.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Decatur High graduate Taye Biddle is entering his second season with the Carolina Panthers.

Remembering his hometown
Panthers' Biddle brings speed camp to his alma mater, Decatur High

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

Former Decatur High all-state football player Taye Biddle always wanted to give back to his hometown.

Now a receiver with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, Biddle has the chance to do so. Biddle will host a speed camp July 14 at Decatur High, and four of his NFL friends will join him to help coach. The camp is free, and will begin at 9 a.m. Registration is at 8:30 a.m.

"People who live around here don't have a whole lot," Biddle said, sitting his the living room at his mother's home. "It's not everyday that people from around this area can say they met a pro athlete.

"I do a lot of community service with the Panthers, and this is just my way of giving back. It's a way of showing the people in the community that we're regular people, too."

Three Panthers players — running back DeShaun Foster, running back DeAngelo Williams and cornerback Richard Marshall — are scheduled to attend.

Also, Biddle said that a former teammate at Ole Miss, Redskins receiver Mike Espy, will attend, too.

Biddle said not only does he want to give back to the community through his camp, but he wants to get local people involved as well.

"There are several local businesses that have said they want to be a part of the camp," Biddle said. "The main reason for the camp is so that everyone can get a chance to be around pro athletes."

Biddle finished his Ole Miss career in 2005 after making 90 career catches for 1,512 yards and scoring eight touchdowns.

Biddle signed with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent before the 2006 season.

While at Ole Miss, Biddle was also a member of the track team, which he said is one of the reasons he didn't start thinking about an NFL career until his junior year.

Since joining the Panthers, Biddle has played in two games, including once against former Ole Miss teammate Eli Manning, now the starting quarterback for the New York Giants.

"I got to spend some time with him before the game," Biddle said. "It was nice getting to catch up with an old teammate."

Biddle said two all-Pro receivers with the Panthers, Steve Smith and the now-retired Keyshawn Johnson, had big impacts on him

"I used to sit by them both in our team meetings," Biddle said. "Since I've been there, I've learned a lot from both of them."

Biddle encourages young players who have dreams of playing in the NFL to work hard.

"You've got to work hard and be smart," Biddle said. "There is constant studying. Learn everything you possibly can while you're in school. It will help you down the road."

Taye Biddle at a glance

  • All-state football player at Decatur High where he helped the Red Raiders go 10-2 his senior season in 2000.

  • Played football at Ole Miss and caught 90 passes for 1,512 yards and eight touchdowns. Helped the Rebels go 10-3 in 2003.

  • Signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in the spring of 2006.

  • Assigned to the Panthers’ practice squad at the beginning of 2006 but was pulled up to the active roster Nov. 24, 2006. Caught three passes for 37 yards and returned two punts for 11 yards.

    - Ashley Hargrove

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