RB Impresses UM Coaches

When The Woodlands, Texas standout running back Samson Taylor attended the NIKE Training Camp several weeks ago he wanted to have a strong performance. It turned out, Taylor's performance was better than he had expected.

At 5-foot-11 3/4 and 205 pounds (he's 210 now), Taylor ran a 4.34 on an artificial turf surface and jumped 37.5 inches.

"I wanted to do well and show people what I had," Taylor said. "I ended up winning the Camp MVP award. I was pretty excited about that."

Taylor has been a varsity starter since his freshman year, when he also played free safety. The talented running back went for 780 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

"We play in a two-back offense and we rotate carries," he said. "We split time back there. I only had 114 carries for the whole season so I wanted to make the most of my opportunities."

Taylor, who also played varsity basketball as a sophomore before taking the year off as a junior to focus on preparing for spring football, had a busy May due to college coaches trying to contact him.

"The phone was always ringing it seemed," he said. "A lot of people were calling and talking to me. I actually have eight scholarship offers right now. Colorado has offered me, Arizona, Texas A&M, Baylor, U of H, Northwestern, BYU, and Washington. A lot of others had called too."

One of the coaches that stopped by Taylor's practice fields last month and called was UM offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

"Coach Chud came by my practice," he said. "Unfortunately, he got there for the last few minutes because he got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the school. He called me on the phone and we talked."

Taylor remembers that conversation very clearly.

"I remember like it was yesterday," he said. "He actually called me on May 1, which was the first day I was able to get calls from colleges. He basically talked about how they are a little low on running backs right now because Willis McGahee left early for the NFL. In the spring they had to rotate fullbacks in at tailback just to have some depth. He said they're definitely taking two running backs and I know they have a commitment from a guy down there now named Bobby [Washington]."

The talented running back said despite the call he has not yet received a scholarship offer from the Hurricanes.

"Coach Chud didn't offer me a scholarship because he wants Coach Coker to see me first," he said. "He also wanted me to meet Coach Coker so I'll be going to their camp next weekend with some of my teammates. The camp runs from Saturday through Monday so hopefully that'll be enough time to impress them enough."

So where do the Hurricanes rank on Taylor's list of current favorites?

"They're right at the top," he said. "If they offer me, everything will be in place for me to go to Miami. I also like Florida State, Colorado, UCLA, Stanford, and Notre Dame right now."

The talented runner talked about why he is so high on the Hurricanes right now -- especially this early in the recruiting process.

"I'm actually from Florida," he said. "I lived there, near Tampa, from age 3 until about 12 when we moved to Texas. I know people in the Miami area, my grandparents are moving back down there, and I'll have all my family there close by. I've never been to the school itself so I'm really looking forward to going there next week."

Taylor said he also enjoys the type of players that UM traditionally recruits.

"The thing about the way they recruit is they recruit great athletes that can play just about anywhere," he said. "They recruit athletes first. Speed wins in college football and Miami recruits more speed than anyone else. They have a great offensive scheme and their coaches obviously know how to coach the players once they get them."

Taylor camped at Texas last week and will be at Texas A&M this weekend.

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