49ers Hall of Famer John Taylor amazed by Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk

SANTA CLARA — Super Bowl XXIII hero John Taylor loves what he’s seeing from the 49ers’ modern-day wide receivers, specifically Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiuyuk.

Taylor praised that duo while speaking pregame Sunday from the field in his new red blazer, commemorating Taylor’s enshrinement Saturday night into the 49ers’ Edward J. DeBartolo Hall of Fame.

On Samuel, Taylor said: “He’s unbelievable, man. He’s an unbelievable wide receiver slash running back, you know what I mean? He’s got such great speed, and if he ever gets the corner, you know what’s about to happen. We’ve seen it in a couple of weeks now.”

Samuel is the 49ers’ first 1,000-yard wide receiver (1,028 yards) since 2014, and while he has five touchdown catches, he also has six rushing touchdowns.

Taylor loved watching ESPN highlights Sunday night and seeing Aiyuk’s game-winning touchdown catch-and-run, as it was compared to Taylor’s Super Bowl-winning catch for the 1988 team. That capped a 92-yard drive with 34 seconds remaining in a 20-16 win over the Bengals.

“Look at Brandon Aiyuk,” Taylor said. “The funny thing about it was they showed the Super Bowl game right before they showed that clip, because it was a last-drive type of deal.”

Taylor won three Super Bowls with the 49ers from 1987-95. He was enshrined in the franchise’s hall of fame alongside linebacker Patrick Willis, who also attended Sunday’s game and was to be honored at halftime.

“It was great,” Taylor said of Saturday night’s private ceremony, in which outside media was not invited. “It was an event I never anticipated First coming here and being drafted by the Niners, to start where I did and end up where I did.”

Taylor was a third-round draft pick out of Delaware State.

Taylor said of Willis: “I watched Patrick play and used to sit there and think, ‘This damn guy goes sideline to sideline.’ The good thing to me was he was never supposed to play, too, that he was too small.”



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