GAINESVILLE -- For 11 seasons, ex-UF star running back Fred Taylor called EverBank Field home as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But Saturday afternoon’s annual Florida-Georgia battle along the St. Johns River will be a different sort of homecoming for Taylor’s son, Kelvin, UF's freshman tailback.
The former five-star prospect is most-likely slated to make his first-career collegiate start in the very same stadium where his dad became a household name.
According to coach Will Muschamp, the running back has earned and deserves an increased role in UF’s downtrodden offense.
“[Kelvin] has continued to improve throughout the season week to week He's always been a very instinctive, natural runner. It's very obvious. Again, with assignments and different things, I think he's done a nice job and deserves the opportunity,” Muschamp said.
For the season, Taylor has rushed for 172 yards on just 28 carries (6.14 y/c), but his breakout performance in the loss to Missouri (74 yards and a touchdown) coupled with Matt Jones’ season-ending knee injury prompted the staff to reevaluate Talyor’s potential as an offensive spark-plug.
“He’s shown that he can do a lot of good things with the ball in his hands. The coaches and myself have to find ways to get him the ball so he can create big plays for us,” Muschamp said. “We’re gonna need some explosive plays and he’s shown that he has the ability to do that. We’re gonna have to find ways to get him the ball and eventually he's going to break. He's very talented, very elusive player.”
Junior fullback Hunter Joyer praised Taylor's natural talents, but also said the freshman recognizes his new-found opportunity.
"He looks more focused than he did early in the year," Joyer said. "He understands that we’re kinda relying on him now and he has to grow up and produce for us."Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton