Freshman Taylor stands out in scrimmage

Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 6:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 6:39 p.m.

Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor was the biggest bright spot in Florida's offense Saturday.

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Florida freshman running back Kelvin Taylor runs upfield during the Orange & Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. Taylor ran for 59 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer

With starting tailback Matt Jones sitting out all but one of the scrimmage sessions and upperclassman Mack Brown seeing little action, Taylor rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and also caught a 3-yard pass in the Orange & Blue Debut.

UF coach Will Muschamp called Taylor a talented runner who has the ability to make an impact this year.

“Some positions are easier than others to contribute as a freshman and (running back) is a natural instinct position,” Muschamp said. “You give the guy the ball and let his natural instincts take over and run for daylight. He can do that, it's the other things we have to brush up on.”

“Kelvin's got a really strong lower body. He runs through contact extremely well. He has natural instincts in the run game, but we just have to continue to get the turns, the reps, the protections and all the things you have to be able to do for us at running back. But I'm extremely pleased with his progress.”

Jones was impressed with Taylor's performance, particularly his pass protection, which is something he struggled with in the spring.

“I thought he did great today,” Jones said. “Awesome job. He hit the hole well, caught the ball well, his protection was excellent. He usually messes up on stuff like protection. But now he has it down pat.”

Brown finished with just three touches for 14 yards, while walk-on Mark Herndon had seven carries for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Jones knows he has to stay on top of his game despite already securing the starting job.

“It was a tough job at first competing with those guys,” Jones said. “All the running backs are great running backs, all of them have talent. It was a great competition. I still can't fall off right now. I still got to keep on going and keep on being humble.”

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