Rendrick Taylor Back at 100 Percent

CLEMSON - On the eve of another football season, the hype surrounding the potential of Rendrick Taylor is starting to build once again. Just don't tell him about it.

Taylor, who has the physique of a linebacker, but plays wide receiver, has heard it all before. As a 240-pound wideout who runs a 4.52 40-yard dash, many consider him to be one of the most physically gifted athletes in the ACC.

During the Orange and White game in 2006, Taylor turned a normal bubble screen into a 97-yard touchdown- leaving Clemson fans talking for months about one of the most exciting plays during spring practice in recent memory.

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit even labeled Taylor as one of his top newcomers in the country prior to the 2006 season.

The problem is, all the hype has yet to translate into on-the-field success.

During his first two seasons with the Tigers, Taylor has suffered a rash of injuries that have prevented him from reaching his full potential.

As a freshman, his nine receptions for 69 yards wasn't bad, but after breaking his wrist midway through the season he was unable to catch passes because he had to wear an enormous cast. He played with the pain, seeing action in 11 games, but he was used more for his blocking than anything else.

As a sophomore he increased his production to 12 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown, but he missed half the season after shattering his elbow catching a pass against Wake Forest.

And if that wasn't enough, Taylor actually injured his foot during spring practice earlier this year.

"Coach Swinney keeps telling me that this is going to be my year and I believe it," said Taylor.
"You kind of look at it like you've just got bad luck," he said. "But for me right now, I can't allow myself to look back at what's happened in the past. I don't even think about it. Coach Swinney keeps telling me that this is going to be my year and I believe it. That's what I keep telling myself that this is going to be my year."

While he's had to endure more than his fair share of pain his first two years at Clemson, there is some good news to report. Just three weeks before the start of fall practice, Taylor says he is finally back at full strength.

The wrist injury, the elbow injury and the foot injury- which required surgery earlier this year to fix, have all been put behind him.

"Right now, I am definitely at 100 percent," he said. "I've been going through all the workouts full speed, flying around everywhere. The team has really taken a new attitude with workouts and everything and it just feels really good right now to be healthy. Hopefully that's going to pay off for me this season."

It goes without saying a healthy Taylor will be critical in Clemson's passing game.

With the loss of All-ACC performer Chansi Stuckey, and expected improvement at quarterback, there's appears to be an opportunity for another Tiger wide receiver to become an impact player in the ACC.

Could it be him?

"I hope so," he said. "I keep telling myself to focus on the future and not worry about the past because you can't let that affect you in a negative way. Plus, we know as a team we have some things we need to finish from last season so hopefully I can be a big part of that this year.

"There's no looking back for me. It feels good to back at 100 percent and I plan to carry that over to the field." Top Stories