Taylor Wyndham highlights way to starter

Given the loss of Jeremy Jarmon, Ventrell Jenkins, and Johnny Williams from the defensive end position, the coaches have said from day one of fall camp that they are a work in progress.

The coaches were accurate in their assessment of the position be cause through five games they have started three different starting combinations. The only constant to date has been junior college transfer DeQuin Evans, who has started every game. Chandler Burden and Collins Ukwu have had their turns and redshirt freshman Taylor Wyndham gets a start against Auburn University.

A low-key, soft spoken, and physically unimposing Wyndham let's his play do his talking. He has a big motor that allows him to arrive at some opportune places and unexpected times. His recruiting-bio said he came out of high school running 4.5 in the forty. His first media day this writer grilled him in the 4.5 timing and he was unshakable on the forty-time. This media day with some added weight, he said – "well, maybe I don't run a 4.5 but I still run a 4.6." One thing I observed in spring practice was impressive and was indicative of his athleticism – on an inclement weather day and practice being held inside the Nuttter Fieldhouse, when ending one drill moving to another segment of practice in another area of the field house, he nonchalantly leap-frogged a 5-foot-5 standup blocking-dummy. Things that make you go ummmm.

In addition to the big sack on Tim Tebow, he again made a big play when he stripped the ball out of the hand of Stephen Garcia, this time in a key part of the game. Wyndham being from South Carolina said he had about thirty-five family and friends at the game to witness his big play.

Wyndham's sack on Tebow and the resulting concussion has been shown countless times. When asked was it weird being on TV more than Tiger Woods? "Yeah, it is a little weird It was a big play but you don't want Tim to be hurt or anything," Wyndham humbly stated. He said that play is over and it's time to move on. He said it was good to see Tebow on the field Saturday night.

Wyndham seems to do instinctual things (Lindley-eque) that ultimately leads to a player becoming a very good player. The coaches have always said that his technique is the best on the team. Asked if he is surprised that he is coming along faster than he expected? "Actually I am," the youngster said. "I think I'm stepping it up well. I'm learning the plays and moved in getting more in tuned with the speed of SEC play.

Ricky Lumpkin said the guy is so low-key in meetings, when he's asked a question, he knows he answer and in a quiet voice. "I say speak up – you know the answer." Lumpkin was asked what talent Wyndham has that enables him to make plays like the Tebow play and the Garcia play? "I can't explain it honestly," Lumpkin quizzically answered. "Taylor has a motor, he a great player, he comes out there and works (practice), he's really quiet if you talk to him, he knows when he makes a mistake. He's only a freshman and he going to be up there in the record books before he graduates from here. You look at the film it's something you don't teach. He definitely was far, far away behind the quarterback and he ran him all the way down and stripped the ball and that's a real good hustle play. A lot of people probably would have just stopped or just pushed him out of bounds but Taylor had the mind-set to go in there and strip the ball."

Size and strength brings about confidence and when that happens you could be looking at a special player in Taylor Wyndham.

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