Taylor Rank - The Great Unknown

Taylor Rank is really the unknown element of the Gamecocks' newbie backfield. But he will not be for long ...

We caught up with "that fast white guy" of the backs, Taylor Rank, at the 2005 Gamecocks Media Day event and here is what he had to say.

Q: First things first. You are wearing #21. To many that is Ryan Brewer's old number. Okay, was that by design or by accident? Did you even know who he was before you got here?

TR: Oh yes, I know who Ryan Brewer is. Growing up in Georgia I used to watch South Carolina playing games and I always paid close attention to #21 when he was running with the rock.

Q: So did you specifically ask for that number?

TR: My high school number was #7 but that wasn't available for a tailback so this number was issued to me instead. I really didn't ask for it but I am happy to have it knowing Brewer wore this number. Hopefully by the time I leave here people will say, 'That was Ryan Brewer's AND Taylor Rank's number. Maybe it will be the start of a tradition."

Q: Are you faster than Ryan was? He ran in the 4.4, 4.5 range pretty consistently.

TR: Yes sir. I can do that.

Q: Then the question is, can you hold onto the football, run hard and use that speed of yours all at the same time because we are hearing you are really a low 4.4 guy.

TR: I am, and yes sir, I don't like coughing up the rock once I get it in my hands. I've got pretty good hands once I've got the ball.

Q: Do you see yourself as a 1 back, tailback sort of back or do you see yourself as a fullback type sometime in the future? The reason we ask is because you are larger than the other backs it looks like and it is said that you are a hard worker in the weight room.

TR: I'm going to go wherever I can help the team the most. Wherever the coaches feel I can get on the field and have the most impact, that's where I'll play. I just want on the field to hit somebody.

Q: With your kind of speed has there been any talk of wide receiver or slot duty?

TR: You never know, but just like I said, I'll go anywhere on the field as long as they let me get out there and play.

Q: You have more blocking skills than some of the other new backs who were featured ball carriers in high school. You pretty much learned to do it all didn't you?

TR: Yes sir. And I believe I am a pretty good blocker out of the backfield. I've worked on being a good blocking back in addition to carrying the ball.

Q: Did you miss the South while living up there in the Pacific Northwest?

TR: Yes sir. I missed it. This is what I always considered home so getting back to the southeast feels good.

Q: How were you recruited? What was the process?

TR: Well, I was being recruited by a few different schools like Vanderbilt and some other big schools on the west coast, but when Coach Spurrier got the job we sent tape down to South Carolina and they looked at it and reviewed it and then they offered me a scholarship.

Q: Who recruited you?

TR: Steve Spurrier, Jr.

Q: So now you are back. Have you reacclimated yourself to the heat and humidity yet?

TR: Oh yes sir. No problem there at all.

Q: What are you looking to do this season?

TR: I hope I get a chance to contribute this year. We've got three freshmen running backs, all of us are good running backs. Bobby (Wallace) and Mike (Davis) are amazing runners. I just hope I get a chance to see the field.

Q: Then you are happy to be here and enjoying yourself?

TR: Oh yes. Really happy. I like it a lot.

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