Horn graduate and National Football League player Taylor Gabriel recently presented recent graduate Danielle Johnson with the first Taylor Gabriel Foundation scholarship.
The ceremony took place on June 2 at the high school.
The scholarship is part of the Taylor Gabriel Foundation’s College Access Playbook (CAP) program, which was launched at Horn with junior students in the fall of 2019.
The foundation was not planning to award any scholarships until the spring of 2021, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the students and the school, Gabriel decided to award one scholarship to a deserving student athlete this year and another this summer to the student who makes the best promotional video for the program.
Johnson was a standout on the Horn girls basketball team who plans to attend Sam Houston State in the fall and major in Kinesiology/Pre-Physical Therapy.
The College Access Playbook is the flagship program of the Taylor Gabriel Foundation. CAP equips high school students for college by providing academic support, financial assistance and leadership opportunities in order to gain success on and off the field.
Program participants engage in monthly team meetings (“huddles”) where they develop life skills, benefit from tutoring and receive tips for studying for and taking the SAT and ACT. They also hear from current and former athletes from all backgrounds and experiences.
Gabriel is a 2009 graduate of Horn High School, where he was a standout all-around athlete, competing in football, basketball and track and field.
Gabriel excelled on the gridiron, where he was an all-district and all-state performer.
After graduating from Horn, Gabriel played football at Abilene Christian, where he finished second in school history with 215 receptions for 3,027 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Gabriel was not selected in the NFL draft, but was signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns, where he played in 2014-2015.
Gabriel spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, and then signed a four-year, $26 million contract with the Chicago Bears in 2018.
Gabriel spent the last two seasons in Chicago and last season, he had three receiving touchdowns in the first half of a game against Washington, becoming the 35th player in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
Gabriel is currently a free agent.