Rendrick Taylor Has Options

CLEMSON – For Rendrick Taylor, it's been another year and another serious injury. From the moment he stepped on the Clemson campus three years ago, he's been plagued by injury after injury.

Even as a freshman, he had the look of a professional weightlifter. He may have been the most ripped and cut 18-year-old to walk in Pickens County. But just a few games into the season against Boston College, he broke his wrist, which limited the receiver to just nine catches for 69 yards on the year.

Then came last year when he broke his arm midway through the season against Wake Forest, which forced him to miss the remainder of the year. He finished his sophomore campaign with only 12 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown.

This year hasn't been any better as he's missed the last three games due to a partially torn hamstring and has only one carry for zero yards and nine catches for 108 yards and no touchdowns.

And if he isn't healthy enough to play Saturday at Maryland, he may just shut it down for the season and apply for a medical hardship.

"If I miss this game right here, that's when I'll talk to the coaches about possibly redshirting and see if I could do that," he said.

However, he's participated in practice this week for the first time in nearly a month without any limitations. Nonetheless, his status for this weekend is still very questionable.

"Right now, it's kind of 50-50," he said. "I felt pretty good. I don't know if I impressed the coaches or not. But I feel real confident."

Taylor pulled his hamstring well before the season started and played hurt the first four games. However, against N.C. State he aggravated it again and upon further examination, they discovered his hamstring was slightly torn.

Torn muscles generally take 8-10 weeks to heal, with the more serious one requiring surgery, though that doesn't appear to be necessary for Taylor.

"I feel pretty good," he said. "I went out there and had an OK practice. I'm not where I want to be. I feel like the verdict will come out Thursday whether I'm going to be able to play or not. But right now, I feel pretty good, so everything is looking real good right now."

EXTRA WEAPON: The Tigers will have an extra weapon on offense this time around against the Terrapins as opposed to when the two teams met last year for a low-scoring game in Clemson.

That weapon is a quarterback who can actually throw downfield and make plays with his arm. And that fact hasn't gotten lost on offensive coordinator Rob Spence.

"Making sure you have a legitimate threat to throw the ball downfield gives you a chance to run the ball and create some seams," he said. "It makes defenses play you in a more honest manner, and obviously that's going to help your run game a lot.

"The ability to throw the ball effectively and efficiently and make big plays really makes the defense concerned about the explosive plays."

QUICK HITS: Clemson is about has healthy as it has been all season with the exception of receiver Jacoby Ford, who is nursing a hip pointer. However, he is expected to play this weekend.

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