Kelvin Taylor’s name was known amongst Gator fans when he was in eighth grade. The son of former Florida Gator running back Fred Taylor, was the starting running back at Glades Day School’s varsity football team and checked in at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds. Needless to say, when most fans were becoming acquainted with the 2008 recruiting class, many Gators were looking five years ahead.
Fast forwarding to 2013, the younger Taylor amassed 12,019 yards at Glades Day School, helped pull in two state titles, set the state record for touchdowns and nearly set the all-time record for High School rushing yards. Taylor was also invited to “The Opening” and was an Under Armour All-American.
Taylor committed to the Florida Gators on February 18, 2012 after flirting with the Alabama Crimson Tide, but there was never any real doubt that Taylor would follow his father’s footsteps.
Taylor graduated from high school early and enrolled in January at the University of Florida. He had a very productive spring and performed well at the Orange and Blue Debut amassing 59 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown.
While we were able to see Taylor in the spring, let’s examine his tape to learn a bit more and postulate a bit on his future at the position.
Primarily, it should be said as a preface and it may not mean anything, but Kelvin Taylor has a lot of miles under his belt. He was the premier running back at a powerhouse school for five years, when most his age assumed starting roles as sophomores or juniors. There is a bit more wear and tear on Taylor and that does raise a slight concern for his longevity.
Now on to analysis.
Taylor is a very prototypical pro-style offense north/south runner. He goes hard after holes in the line and won’t dance around much in the backfield. He attacks holes quickly and with purpose. He has a quick burst of speed out of the backfield and quickly makes his decisions on which hole to hit, which seems faster than most his age. Taylor also displays patience when a hole is not open and uses his great vision to identify the right hole to penetrate. He is going to pound through the hole much more than he will bounce it outside.
Taylor has a great frame that he fills out well. He is quite muscular, both in the upper and lower body, but not too bulky. He is tough to bring down because of his size and will take much more than an arm tackle. Additionally, he continues to move until he is brought down. Taylor falls forward and will pick up the important extra yard(s).
He has great feet that can make quick cuts and changes of direction. He is elusive and has elite foot speed. He is going to juke a lot of players at the next level and that gives him just another tool on his way to being elite. That foot speed is most evident at 1:23 in the film below.
There is not much tape on his blocking and I know that Will Muschamp has mentioned that it is time for Taylor to start working on all of the aspects of being a running back at the college level.
The Gators grabbed an incredible prospect in Taylor and as he continues to develop, he will be a star in college football.