Following the Florida Gators’ 27-3 win over Georgia at EverBank Field Jim McElwain joked that Kelvin Taylor might want to consider moving all of their home games to the stadium given the way the junior running back performs there.
EverBank Field has seen plenty of great runs by a running back named Taylor and Saturday proved once again to be no different.
Playing in a stadium with his father’s likeness and name plastered everywhere for his All-Pro career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kelvin Taylor feels right at home when playing in Jacksonville.
“It’s my house, man. This is my house. This is the Taylor’s house, man. I remember me being like seven years old, just running around in this stadium,” Kelvin Taylor said. “The meeting room has changed, but my father, just being inside this stadium with my father, it’s just crazy man how time flies. Now I’m playing on the side of the field that my dad had a great career at.”
Taylor’s number was called 25 times on Saturday afternoon and he responded by running for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Statistically speaking, his junior show doesn’t live up to the performance he put on as a sophomore; squeals are never as good as the original, but Taylor’s running on Saturday is what put Florida over the top.
“I always like to put a personal challenge on myself because I feel like I’m a really good running back and it was about time for me to start making plays,” Taylor said of his mindset heading into the game.”
Taylor’s season has been a testament to the hard work that he has put in throughout his career and the job that new running backs coach Tim Skipper has done. Skipper coached running backs at Fresno State but, more recently, was a linebackers coach at Colorado State. Skipper’s approach is less about what position he’s coaching and more about getting his players to buy in to the system as a whole. Kelvin Taylor has always had the physical tools, Skipper has helped him hone in on the mental part of the game and has gotten the best out of Taylor this season.
Skipper has had a big hand in Taylor’s emergence this season but it’s undeniable that Taylor rises to the occasion when he’s given the opportunity to play in the stadium where his father made his professional career for 11 seasons.
Thanks to his career numbers of 70 carries for 394 yards and four touchdowns in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Taylor will likely end up joining his father in another elite club: the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame.