Taylor served as a graduate assistant while pursuing a master's degree in education administration/adult and higher education from the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
In 2017, James was part of a coaching staff that directed USF to a 9-3 season and a fourth straight postseason appearance. The Cougars finished third in the NSIC overall and made a third straight DII playoff appearance. USF fielded one of the nation's best defenses in 2017, ranking in second total defense (244.3 yards per game), second in scoring defense (12.5 ppg), third in rushing yards per game (67.8 yards per game), seventh in first downs defense (158) and ninth in sacks (3.33 per game, 40 total). USF led the NSIC in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, sacks, and second in first downs allowed.
A native of LaPorte, Ind., James graduated from Trine University (Angola, Ind.) in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in general studies. At Trine University, he was a three-year starter, earning All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) honors three straight seasons. He transferred to Trine University, after spending two years at the University of Indianapolis.