Posted: 11:36 am Monday, November 29th, 2010

Boston Globe story profiles Kelvin Taylor (and debunks the legend of the rabbit chasers) 

By Matt Porter

Wonder if anyone in the Glades wants to respond to this.

Click to read the Boston Globe's story on Kelvin Taylor. (Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe)

Click to read the Boston Globe's story on Kelvin Taylor. (Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe)

Last month, the Boston Globe was at King’s Academy, reporting for a story on Glades Day running back Kelvin Taylor. I noticed Globe photographer/reporter Stan Grossfeld on the field after the game, snapping pictures and interviewing players and coaches.

Full disclosure: I used to work at the Boston Globe, and I enjoy Grossfeld’s work. So when I saw him in West Palm Beach, I was excited to see the final results.

Here’s a link to Grossfeld’s article, along with a photo gallery of Taylor. Not a lot of new information for readers down here — it’s common knowledge that Kelvin Taylor is Fred Taylor’s son, and that he is one of the brightest young running backs in the state — but you may enjoy it.

Kelvin says his main goal is to get faster. In high school, Fred Taylor was clocked at 4.28 in the 40-yard dash, while Kelvin, 17, runs a 4.5. However, Fred Taylor says speed is the only advantage Young Fred had over Kelvin.


“He’s got some moves, some jump cuts that are dangerous,” said [Fred] Taylor. “I was just saying to myself, ‘Wow, that was really amazing!’ When he carried the ball, he was making the right moves, making the right reads. I was like, ‘Wow, he’s much better all across the board than me.’

“He knows the game much more than I did at that point.”

As someone familiar with Kelvin Taylor and his story, one thing jumped out to me: Both Kelvin and his father deny chasing rabbits.

Thanks to an ESPN story from a few years ago, sports fans across the country know the legend of the muck rabbits — that players from the Muck get their speed from chasing rabbits around sugarcane fields.

It’s a tall tale, the Taylors say.

The local legend is that the running backs here get quick by catching jackrabbits in the cane fields and selling them. Kelvin Taylor laughs at that.

“Nah, that’s a bunch of b.s.,” he said.

Fred Taylor laughs at it, too.

“I never ever, ever in my life chased a rabbit,” he said. “Fortunately for me, my grandmother busted her ass trying to put food on the table and keep us clothed, and she sent us to school so that we could be the best that we could be.”

Neither of the Taylors denied that football players in the Muck actually participate in the chase, just that the idea that players get their speed from rabbit-hunting is proabably just that, an idea. Fred Taylor appears in the ESPN video (see the video here), wearing a t-shirt that says ‘Dead Rabbits’, but never said he chased rabbits.

“The myth? Who knows,” he says in the video. “I do know that guys chase rabbits, I do know that guys are very, very fast where I come from.”

Fred Taylor ran a 4.28 in high school, and never chased a rabbit. Just sayin’.