This is the fifth profile in the Gator Prospectus series covering Florida’s 2013 in-state commits.
Name: Kelvin Taylor
Committed: Febuary 18
School: Belle Glade Glades Day
Position: Running back
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 216 pounds
Scouting Report: Taylor is the total package at the running back position. For me, it all starts with his footwork. His combination of jump-cuts, juke moves and change-of-direction skills are incredibly advanced for a high school player and show a striking resemblance to his father, former NFL and UF running back Fred Taylor. The younger Taylor isn’t as fast his dad was, but his acceleration, quickness and elusiveness are exceptional and make up for his lack of top-end speed. After one of his runs this past Friday, UF coach Will Muschamp turned to someone on the sideline and said “good feet.” Vision is his second-best asset. He finds running lanes in the tightest of seams and bursts through the hole once he makes his cut. I like to describe Taylor as a “downhill dancer” because he runs through defenders with his north/south style but can also maneuver around them by avoiding direct hits and slipping out of tackles. Taylor always keeps his legs moving and can get extra yardage on second effort with his lower body strength. He’s also as durable as they come with the stamina to be an every-down back for four quarters.
For The Game: On his 19th birthday, Taylor played in front of ESPNU cameras, a crowd of 5,000-plus and his future coach. Unfortunately for him and his Class 2A Glades Day Gators, the game didn’t go their way. Class 4A Yulee was the superior team and ran away with the lead behind Alabama running back commit Derek Henry, who rushed for 362 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-6 win. Although it was tough for Taylor to helplessly watch, he still had an impressive performance in his own right. He rushed for 223 yards and a score on 35 carries and showed the nation he can be productive against better competition. And despite Henry’s higher numbers, the general consensus among recruiting analysts and scouts was that Taylor looked like the better of the two as far as the running back position is concerned. For the complete game story, click HERE.
Quotable: “He has it all. Explosiveness, power, vision, patience, balance and speed. He’s not a track athlete obviously, but he’s as fast as the guy chasing him on any given play. His most important attribute is the ability to create when things aren’t going well. If you get penetration in the backfield and you’ve got to use your feet and, for lack of a better phrase, pull a rabbit out of a hat, I think he’s got those types of traits. And that’s exactly what Florida needs at that position. They haven’t had a back this good in awhile.” — ESPN National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill
Notable: Enrolling early at Florida; will officially visit UF on Dec. 8; competed in the Orlando Nike Football Training Camp and The Opening; will play in the Under Armour All-American in January; ranked No. 1 positionally and No. 22 overall by ESPN, ranked No. 5 positionally and No. 47 overall by Rivals.
For a recap of the top performances in Week 4 by members of Florida’s 2013 class, click HERE.
Up next week on the Gator Prospectus — UF linebacker commit James Hearns.