Decision time for Kelvin Taylor

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Kelvin Taylor was born to a Gator great, he grew up a Gator fan, his high school mascot is the Gators and his Gator-themed lifestyle will likely continue this weekend when makes his college commitment.

Florida and Alabama are the finalists for the Belle Glade running back, and he’s ready to decide between the two after taking unofficial visits to both schools this past year.

“Both schools have great coaching staffs and real nice campuses,” Taylor said. “I’ve known it would come down to them for awhile and that’s why I’m making this decision now.”

Analysts have always assumed the four-star prospect is destined for Gainesville because of his father — former UF running back Fred Taylor (1994-1997).

Photo credit: Athlon

Taylor’s 3,075 yards and 31 touchdowns at Florida rank fourth in school history. He was part of the first national championship team in 1996 and was a first-team All-American selection by the Walter Camp Foundation the following year as well as first-team SEC. He went on to have a productive career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who selected him 9th overall in the 1998 NFL Draft.

And while the younger Taylor is proud of his Gator bloodline and the comparisons to his dad, he would have been interested in UF even if he wasn’t a legacy recruit.

“I’m a Florida boy,” he said. “UF is just a nice place to be because it’s closer to home for me. It has great tradition and it had a great program even before my dad went there. I love him and look up to him as a football player, but I’m my own person. I want to be Kelvin Taylor, not Fred Taylor’s son.”

Photo credit: MaxPreps

Early on in his recruitment, Taylor was very outspoken about the Gators being his leader. But Alabama didn’t back off and made things interesting thanks to its program and coaching prestige.

“Bama has top-notch coaches and a top-notch program,” Taylor said. “They’ve won a lot of championships like UF has. That’s why I narrowed it down to those two because both schools offer the same things.”

Aside from his Gator background, Taylor has held Florida in high regard because of his relationship with wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill, his primary recruiter.

“He is a great guy,” Taylor said. “Me and coach Hill talk a lot on the phone and I enjoy every time that he comes to see me at my school. I just love being around him and the other coaches. When I go up there I feel like I’m family and that’s why I really like Florida.”

Taylor is going to see that family atmosphere one last time before making his decision. He will be in Gainesville Friday through Sunday and attend UF’s second Junior Day during his stay.

Taylor said he’s visiting for three days so he can hang out around the team some more. If it feels like home, he will make it his permanent one.

“I just need to check out the school again before I choose,” Taylor said. “I’m gonna go wherever I feel most comfortable and I need to make sure it’s with the players and coaches at UF.”

Photo credit: Sun-Sentinel

Taylor splashed onto the recruiting scene in eighth grade, when he became a starter for the Glades Day varsity team and earned all-state honors. He rushed for 1,692 yards and 27 touchdowns, and his highlight reel from that season has over 190,000 views on YouTube.

As a freshman, Taylor exploded with 2,691 rushing yards and 47 TDs and his team captured the state championship. The Gators won the title again in his sophomore year (highlights) and then Taylor became Florida’s career rushing leader in yardage and touchdowns in only his junior season (highlights).

On Nov. 11, 2011, this 34-yard touchdown run by Taylor broke Emmitt Smith’s previous mark of 8,804 yards, which dated back to 1986. Taylor finished the game with 388 yards rushing and six TDs on 34 carries in a 43-29 win over South Fork (Stuart, Fla.).

With the record in the books and his recruitment about to be over, Taylor is looking forward to enjoying his senior year without any pressure. He could the challenge the national mark of 11,232 yards set by Ken Hall of Sugar Land (Texas) in 1953. Taylor’s pre-freshman statistics aren’t included in the listings.

But he wants a third ring more than another record.

“I can’t wait to get my commitment out the way,” said Taylor, who is currently 5-foot-11, 214 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds. “I’m just gonna keep my grades up, work out very hard, run track, lift weights, and just focus my mind on high school football and trying to get another state title.”

47 COMMENTS

  1. Everyone put your hands on your keyboards together.

    This would hurt so hard to lose to satan. I mean it’s Fred freakin Taylor”s son and he broke Emmitt”s high school record. He even plays for the Gators in high school. Puleeez!

  2. Been to Bama, visited the campus, have enjoyed Dreamland. But there’s nothing like being a Florida Gator, whether you’re a football player or not. UF’s the place to be. Hoping Kelvin takes his next step with our school and dons Orange and Blue. He seems to be bright, articulate and is obviously a powerhouse player. Let’s hope he comes our way!

  3. ZACK,
    Is Kevin Taylor a Gator? Can Florida make a dent in A. Fullwood? Joshua Dobbs is the best early clutch QB I have seen so far. Are we(Muschamp) giving this kid enough respect by not offering him yet? Do you see any early 5 star watch list commits coming this week besides Taylor? Who do you see UF getting at WR and TE? Any DL or DB supprizes for us in the upcoming months?
    thanks

  4. Great high school players even those with great bloodlines, are not quaranteed greatest at the next level but… Kevin is not just any player and his dad is one of Florida’s greatest so it would hurt to see him at Alabama for sure!! Thus Florida college students please give him the royal family atmosphere treatment this weekend!!

  5. God,

    I really don’t ask you for much. I try hard to do the right things and be low maintenance for you. But I am asking you please, oh pretty please, do not let this kid get away from us. Do me a solid here and I’ll keep doing my part. Please lord do not fail me now, for I cannot handle the heartache.

  6. He is a great running back, but keep in mind as you all soil yourselves that he is in a 2A school (yes “2A”) with 400-500 total enrollment K-12. That doesn’t mean he wont be great, but word is he has chosen to stay in 2A to try to get the record. Doesn’t say a lot for competitiveness.

  7. Anyone else notice how the Gainesville Sun is a bunch of censors? If you write anything non complimentary about an article, even if it constructive criticism about the content of the article, they censor your post? LOL What a bunch of hypocrites! The media is always complaining about censorship but the first time they get the chance to use it in their favor, they jump all over it.

  8. Zach you said “prodictive” describing Fred Talyors career?!?! r u kidding me! He had a stellar, very good, even great career compared to the average, productive career!! 13 seasons, 11695 yards,7 1,000 yard seasons, 66 TDs, playoffs, over 2500 carries!! good lord give the man respect…

  9. No one mentioned the fact that BAMMER got the concencus #1 ruinning back in America to sign with them. That in it’s self would be a challenge to the young man. IMHO ( worth about 10 cents in todays market) he’s a GATOR!!!

  10. I noticed LT, but I think it is the individual to whom you are posting a reply that censors you. Even if you use no foul language and are not abusive, the “journalist” will a lot of times scrub a non-complimentary reply.

  11. If Florida does not do some serious improving on the O line this kid is Bama all the way. He has already said he wants to be his own man, that spells getting out of dads shadow at another powerhouse program with a history of great O lines that produce first round NFL backs. I just hope he doesn’t get discouraged by the transitions taking place as the Gators rebuild. Go Gators

  12. If we lose him, it’ll be the worst in state robbery since Trent Richardson. IMO, if any one person was responsible for spearheading the Gator’s downward spiral these last few years (and BAMA’s rise), it was Meyer not landing that recruit. Sadly, not getting a Gator legacy like Kelvin would hurt more. That said, I can’t see him wearing anything but Orange and Blue come 2013. GO GATORS!

  13. Losing Trent doesn’t compare to losing Kelvin (if that happens). Richardson was practically from south Alabama. If anything, FSU should be upset about losing someone in their backyard. I realize we were a finalist, but it’s not like we pull a lot of kids out of the Panhandle. Losing someone from Belle Glades, where we have a long history of success, to an out-of-state school, no less, now that would hurt.

  14. Is he really that good? Believe me, i’d love for Kelvin to come to UF. Just remember, he plays for the small private school in Belle Glade, not for big-daddy high school powerhouse Glades Central. How would he have stacked up against the competition Glades Central plays?

  15. I think Kelvin Taylor would be as equally good no matter what competition he would go against and what classification he would play in. In my opinion his signing with Florida (I hope) will be the most important RB signing since Emmett Smith. I hope Muschamp this season and in the future rotate all the RB’s. KEEP FRESH STRONG legs in the lineup. These young guys, if they practice they all deserve playing time. I think Gillislee deserved more playing time, last year and would’ve helped the Gator offense.

  16. It makes me sick to my stomach to think he might consider signing with Alabama (or any other school). Losing him would really hurt. Does anyone have a feel on Derrick Henry? Hopefully, I hope he isn’t totally commited to Georgia. If Alabama can stockpile all their great RB’s, Florida should be able to sign the great ones in the state and keep them happy.
    Fresh legs in the line up, pound the ball down the defense’s throat.

  17. One way to get him to sign with Bama, is to over reach at the position. Find the 2 best backs you want and move on or we’ll have another Davis situation on our hands. I understand that Marshall was a heck’va talent, but it left us extremely thin at the position.

  18. Kelvin probably will be a more powerful running back than his dad(Fred).

    I doubt Kelvin will be as fast as Fred.

    Fred was a scorcher…VERY fast.

    But Kelvin has good speed, and with our type of offense, we need power backs with good speed, not scorchers.

    Anyhows, whose to say that in a year or two, Kelvin won’t whittle that 4.48 (40 yard time) down to a 4.3.

    Could easily happen.

    It’s in his genes.

    I always thought Fred was by far the fastest running back the Gators ever had, except for the Urban Meyer era.

    And even there, I think Fred in his day had speed the equal to Percy..though probably not Demps.

    Sure hope we get Kelvin.

  19. One good thing, he doesn’t need money; so, Bamer can’t try to entice him away with a Lexus or moving his family to be close to him, like they did with Trent Richardson!

    I doubt he would dis his father’s school, by announcing for Bamer , while he’s at UF for Junior Day! He’s a Gator to the bone and he’s smart enough to know where the best opportunity is for him to start from day one. Now, we need 1 more good back, to go with the one commitment and Taylor, if he becomes a Gator!

    Let’s get this thing rolling!

  20. Is jersey #21 available?

    Also, how do you put UF on a recruit that played on a high school football team so bad, he never got a chance to kick field goals or extra points? (The team scored two touchdowns ALL YEAR!) Yet, Oklahoma State and Duke know of him. Super kid from an excellent family.

  21. To all you guys belly-aching about him coming from a small school, let’s not forget we have had great success with small school guys. Warren, Ingram, Brown, Kelsey, Jenkins, Alexander, ect… (and the list could go on forever). Plus, we have had great success with those Glade boys. Bring Taylor to Gainesville. We could use the help.

  22. Certainly hope we get him but I have watched video of him as I read those unreal numbers he’s put up and he is not super fast nor is he super quick and that’s playing at 2A but he is obviously still a tremendous talent and has great character and will develop too and we sure could use a quality person like him in our program but he is not the next coming of Jesus Christ in a running back.

  23. Rich, you left Brantley off your list, and all of the Belle Glade boys we have had success with were from Glades Central, not Glade Day. If you were familiar with the two schools like I am, you would know it is like comparing UF to Sante Fe.