Important Newcomers: No. 5 Kelvin Taylor

As the final group of incoming freshmen report to campus in Gainesville this week, we'll start the run down the five most important freshmen to the 2013 Florida football team. The path to playing time isn't as clear with the emergence of sophomore Matt Jones, but freshman running back Kelvin Taylor starts the list and will still get touches in the backfield.

WHY HE'S HERE: Kelvin Taylor spent the spring on campus at Florida, going through spring practice and getting accustomed to college life off the football field. Taylor's talent has never been in question. He rushed for 12,019 yards and 192 touchdowns while leading Glades Day School to two state titles.

His vision is one of his best traits, showing a knack to find the best hole and exploding through it. Taylor is college ready at 5-11, 215 pounds and should continue to get in better shape under the Florida strength and conditioning program.

The son of former Gators running back Fred Taylor, Kelvin is set to see the field as a freshman and help Florida.

PATH TO PLAYING TIME:Based purely on talent, Taylor would be higher on this list. Sophomore running back Matt Jones keeps that from happening. Jones started slow as a freshman in 2012 but closed strong, running much harder and being a trusted part of the running game as the backup. With Mike Gillislee gone, Jones steps into the starting job with a strong offseason.

Taylor is now battling with Mack Brown and Adam Lane for the backup running back job. However, the Gators proved last season they will get multiple backs involved in the running game. That's where Taylor can earn his stripes in fall camp, show he can handle touches and create a role for himself as a freshman. He proved capable of doing that with a strong spring.

WHAT TO EXPECT: We know what Mack Brown is at this point. Heading into his redshirt junior season, he's a solid backup runner that can be trusted -- proving that while running out the clock in Florida's win at Texas A&M last year.

There's more upside in Taylor simply because we don't know exactly what he can do yet. With as much as the Florida coaches and players have raved about Taylor, it sounds like he has the work ethic to do what it takes to make him a Southeastern Conference running back.

My guess is that Taylor has a similar role to the one Jones held last year, meaning he could start the year as the third running back but eventually work his way above Brown on the depth chart to win the backup job as the season continues.

Fightin Gators Top Stories