Former Utah State football analyst Blaise Taylor arrested in connection with death of girlfriend, unborn child

Blaise Taylor was on Utah State’s football staff in 2023.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at Utah State University in Logan on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

Blaise Taylor, a former defensive analyst at Utah State, was arrested in connection with the death of his girlfriend and an unborn child.

Taylor, who left USU to coach at Texas A&M this month, is facing two first-degree murder charges by a Nashville grand jury. He allegedly poisoned his then-girlfriend, Jade Benning, leading to the deaths, according to a news release.

Taylor was arrested in Utah this week and police will bring him to Tennessee to face charges.

Benning, who was 25, died in March 2023, according to a news release. She was five months pregnant when she was rushed to the hospital in Nashville on Feb. 25, 2023, with what was thought to be an allergic reaction, police said. Two days later, the unborn child died. Benning died on March 6.

A homicide investigation went on for months after the deaths, eventually ending in the charges against Taylor.

Benning’s unborn child was allegedly his, according to a news release.

After Benning’s death, Taylor took a job at Utah State on July 1. He was an analyst for head coach Blake Anderson, helping the defensive backs.

The university said Taylor, like all other employees, went through a background check before being hired.

After one season, Taylor left USU on March 1. He was hired at Texas A&M on March 6 to be an analyst.

“Utah State University is aware of the arrest of former employee Blaise Taylor, who left the university on March 1, 2024 to begin a new role at another institution,” the athletic department said in a statement. “… The University is not involved in this law enforcement matter.”

Taylor played at Arkansas State before joining the Tennessee Titans staff for several seasons. He served as an analyst at Duke, under current Texas A&M head coach Mike Elko, before coming to Utah State for one season.

Taylor’s father, Trooper, was a longtime coach at Duke. He followed Elko to Texas A&M this offseason.

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