The most known un­known

New­ton High sopho­more run­ning back re­ceiv­ing col­lege at­ten­tion

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - SHAKEEM HOLLOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

Kurt Tay­lor Jr. Get to know the name and the young sopho­more New­ton run­ning back be­cause by the time he’s a se­nior, Tay­lor Jr. will be one of the best run­ning backs in the na­tion.

Tay­lor stands strong at 5-foot-nine, weigh­ing in at a rock-solid 200 pounds. He’s built like a minia­ture Her­cules, and ap­par­ently that’s the way col­leges see him. Tay­lor Jr. is re­ceiv­ing mul­ti­ple of­fers from power-five schools, and he’s not even fea­tured heav­ily in New­ton’s of­fense yet.

Tay­lor has of­fers from well known schools like Van­der­bilt, Ken­tucky and UNLV. He’s been on mul­ti­ple unof­fi­cial vis­its to schools like Ge­or­gia and Auburn, plus plenty of camps/com­bines to let col­leges see the type of player Tay­lor is.

“What they love about me – they like my style of run­ning. They like me as a per­son. I’m a hum­ble per­son. I’m a hard worker and I’m a good guy.” Tay­lor said.

Hard work and hum­ble are words you’d prob­a­bly use to de­scribe Tay­lor if you’ve ever met him. He’s quiet and unas­sum­ing de­spite his amaz­ing physique. But Tay­lor wasn’t al­ways this way, well at least he wasn’t al­ways this mus­cu­lar.

It started when Tay­lor, who had al­ways wanted to play foot­ball, broke his tibia in half while he was in the fifth grade. His fa­ther Tay­lor Sr. says he once slept with a foot­ball in his hand and a hel­met on his head he loved foot­ball so much, but Tay­lor Jr’s in­jury didn’t change that.

“He knew what he had to do,” Tay­lor Sr. said. “This guy would run ev­ery day. He’d say, ‘Dad can I play this year?’ And I’d say, ‘No.’ He said, ‘I can play.’ I’d say, “No, you can’t. You gotta show me what you can do be­fore you get on that foot­ball field.”

So Tay­lor Jr. showed him. He worked hard to get back to form. Tay­lor would run ev­ery day, even in the sum­mer in 100-de­gree weather. He worked on his foot­work, ran, lifted weights and did pushups and pullups to build his body for two or three hours each day. Tay­lor Sr. told his son that if he could get past this in­jury, there would be no ad­ver­sity he couldn’t go through.

“I said, ‘Kurt, this in­jury right here is go­ing to pro­pel you to the next level be­cause most peo­ple would quit right here, but you want to still play in spite of [your in­jury],” Tay­lor Sr. re­calls.

Af­ter two years, Tay­lor Sr. fi­nally let his son play foot­ball in the eighth grade. Tay­lor Jr. suited up for Cle­ments Mid­dle School and took the team by storm. In his first year play­ing, he led the team in rush­ing yards and touch­downs. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t stepped on a foot­ball field in over two years.

Tay­lor used his in­jury to his ad­van­tage. He’s mor­phed into this hulk­ish char­ac­ter that can power clean over 300 pounds, bench 375 pounds and hit over 500 pounds on the leg press. All while main­tain­ing his 3.7 GPA in school.

“Hard work is un­de­feated,” Tay­lor Sr. said. “His work ethic, I have never in my life – and I work hard, I’m one of the hard­est work­ing peo­ple you could ever meet — but his work ethic is un­matched. This guy gets up in the morn­ing does about 400 pushups, maybe 500. He’s been do­ing this for a long time. Ain’t like he just started this. This is some­thing he con­stantly does all the time.”

The Tay­lors are def­i­nitely a sports fam­ily and Tay­lor Jr. is sur­rounded by suc­cess­ful ath­letes in his fam­ily. How­ever, they’re more of a bas­ket­ball fam­ily, but Tay­lor is the first to play foot­ball.

Tay­lor Sr. played bas­ket­ball at the Uni­ver­sity of Hawaii and even­tu­ally in the USBL. His un­cle Oliver Tay­lor was an All-City se­lec­tion while at Far Rock­away High School in Queens, New York be­fore hav­ing a suc­cess­ful ca­reer at Se­ton Hall and even­tu­ally play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally in France. Tay­lor Jr. is also Rock­dale star de­fen­sive back/re­ceiver, T.J. War­ren’s cousin, who signed to play at the Uni­ver­sity of Mis­souri in Fe­bru­ary.

This guy gets up in the morn­ing does about 400 pushups [maybe 500]. He’s been do­ing this for a long time. Ain’t like he just started this. This is some­thing he con­stantly does all the time”

—Tay­lor Sr.

sub­mit­ted photo / The Cov­ing­ton News

Kurt Tay­lor is one of the best kept se­crets in New­ton County. The al­most 200-pound run­ning back is just a sopho­more at New­ton High School and he’s al­ready drawn mul­ti­ple of­fers from power-five schools such as Rut­gers, Van­der­bilt and UNLV.

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