Junior to Watch: Samson Taylor
School: The Woodlands, Texas
Size and speed: Taylor was measured at the Rivals 100 Junior Day in Houston at 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds. Taylor has been clocked as low as 4.29-seconds in the 40-yard dash but is a consistent 4.4 second guy. He also has a 275-pound bench-press, 345-pound squat and a 36-inch vertical leap.
Honors: Taylor was an all-district pick as a junior.
Statistics: Taylor rushed for 792 yards on 117 carries for 10 touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 295 yards and one score.
Favorite Schools: Taylor already has scholarship offers from Texas A&M and Northwestern. He’s recently received indications from college coaches that offers from Wisconsin, Kansas, Georgia Tech and LSU aren’t too off either. He’s also getting interest from Oklahoma and Penn State.
Skinny: Samson Taylor of The Woodlands, Texas, isn’t going to shy away from an upcoming and highly anticipated opportunity to become the main man for his team’s rushing attack as a senior. Gone are the days of sharing time with fellow Division I recruit Kenny Hicks.
You see, Hicks, who is a small but shifty back that will get major college attention, has transferred to Klein Forest – opening the door for Taylor to become The Woodlands feature back as a senior.
“It’s a win and lose situation for the team,” Taylor said. “Kenny was a really good guy and a great player. He was a very good athlete and a heck of a competitor. I liked him a lot and will miss him being around us.
“But it’s definitely good for me. I now get to tote the rock full time.”
With Hicks in the lineup last season, Taylor often lined up at wing-back and would become a receiving threat out of the backfield or they would put him in on third-down situations and let him do his thing. But with Hicks no longer there, it’s his chance to shine.
“It’s my turn,” Taylor said.
And his turn begins officially on April 28 when The Woodlands begins spring practices.
“We’ve got a lot of new offensive linemen,” he said. “We also have a young defense. I’m really hoping that we mold together this spring and learn how to play as a team.”
And Taylor said he knows that he’ll have to play a key leadership role this season – but that’s something that he really cherishes.
“It’s my turn,” he said again.
It’s also his turn to go through the recruiting process. Blessed with amazing speed and exceptional size, Taylor could be one of Houston’s top overall recruits in 2004.
With offers already on the table from Texas A&M and Northwestern, he knows that things are only just beginning for him.
“Wisconsin, Kansas, Georgia Tech and LSU all talked about offering me,” Taylor said. “I think the head coach at Georgia Tech is coming out to one of our spring practices to see me in action. I’m sure that’s what a lot of schools are doing.
“But I’m keeping my options open. I don’t want to say that I want to go here and then something chances and then I’m going to end up somewhere else. I just don’t want to put that pressure on myself yet.”
Taylor does admit, though, that he’s enjoying the attention and the opportunity to check out the teams that are interested in him.
“I went to the A&M spring game,” he said.
“It’s kind of hard to see what they’re really going to do on offense. It was just a lot of Reggie McNeal running with the ball. I talked to coach Fran and he said they like to be balanced. He said they’ve just not had time to install all of the offense.”
Taylor is just one of the players from The Woodlands that already has scholarship offers. His running mate on offense – receiver Danny Amedola – already has a scholarship offer from Texas Tech.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kevin Mimms, a massive defensive end, has an offer also from Northwestern.