Posted: 4:08 pm Friday, May 21st, 2010
By Jason Lieser
Note: Welcome to the PBGametime 2010 Spring Football Tour! Over the next two weeks, we’ll visit area teams, meet some of the top players and answer the most pressing questions. Today’s stop is Glades Day, where the Gators are working to lighten the load on running back Kelvin Taylor.
Click below to see the video, and click here for more Spring Football Tour stops.
In the 2009 regular season, only four area running backs had more than Taylor’s 149 carries. His workload spiked sharply in the playoffs, when he ran 146 times in just four games.
He was productive (1,439 yards and 28 touchdowns in the regular season, 1,158 and 19 in the post-season), but there has to be concern about his mileage given that Glades Day needs him healthy for three more seasons.
Glades Day coach Pete Walker would prefer to reduce Taylor’s carries in his upcoming sophomore year. The main ways to do that are: (1) Getting more carries for running back Roshard Burney, and (2) improving the passing game.
Burney, who will be a junior this fall, ran 55 times for 407 yards and two touchdowns during the regular season. In the playoffs, he rushed just 19 times.
Burney also is expected to key Glades Day’s run defense at linebacker this fall, but Walker said he plans to get him the ball more often than last year.
Taylor, by the way, will not play in tonight’s spring game against Palm Beach Gardens (7 p.m. at Glades Day) because of a bruised right knee. Walker said it is not a long-term concern.
Boosting the passing attack could be a little more difficult. Glades Day lost two receivers in the off-season who would have started this year. Devonte Allen now is at Glades Central and Johntavious Brown is at Sebastian River.
The Gators need at least three starting-caliber receivers. Newcomer Mike Terrell, a senior who transferred in from LaBelle, appears to have solidified his spot. Eaton Spence and J.T. Thornton, two players who have scholarship offers as defensive backs, also are in the mix and Johnny Duce could start, too. All four are seniors.
Walker said Glades Day also has another three or four younger receivers trying to prove themselves.
Part of the burden in the passing game falls on quarterback Tanner Redish, a junior-to-be. Redish showed promise in his sophomore season and it is time to deliver on it.
As a sophomore, he completed 60 of 106 passes for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the off-season, Redish improved his throwing velocity and footwork, Walker said. He has seemed more confident during the spring practice session.