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March 4, 2012
MORE TEXAS FB: Go to TheOldCoach.com
Tom Bergeron is the Senior Editor for RivalsHigh.com. Send ideas, questions or comments to TBergero@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow on Twitter.
When the calendar turns to March in Texas, it means another football season - spring football - is just around the corner.
For Katy (Texas) High star running back Adam Taylor, it only means there's more football he is going to miss.
Taylor, a Rivals250 recruit who is one of the top running backs prospects in the Class of 2013, is still recovering from the knee injury that cost him all but a few quarters of last season.
And while doctors have advised that Taylor does not participate in spring practice - or track - he does appear to be on his way to a full recovery.
"I'm running and squatting, cutting and changing direction,'' Taylor told Sic'emSports.com, the leading site for Baylor football. "Really, I'm not feeling any soreness after anything I do except when I'm weight lifting.''
His return is welcome news for Katy.
Taylor ran for 1,553 yards (9.7 per carry) and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2010. He had 106 yards before his knee injury knocked him out of the season opener on Aug.26.
Katy, a perennial national power, adjusted to life without him.
In fact, it had a season most school's would celebrate in 2011, winning its first 12 games and rising to a Top-Ten spot nationally before falling in a third-round playoff game. The defeat meant Katy (13-1) finished No. 91 in the final RivalsHigh100.
It even found a substitute for Taylor in freshman Rodney Anderson.
"The Taylor injury was tough on Katy but not a season killer," RivalsHigh national analyst Dallas Jackson said. "The Tigers are never without a talented stable of running backs as freshman Rodney Anderson stepped in and ran for over 1,000 yards as the feature back. Ricky Bickham and Cody Gomez each tallied over 600 as well."
But don't be fooled, for Texas to make its familiar run to a state title, it will need a healthy Taylor.
"The team certainly would have been better with Taylor," Jackson said. "I'm excited to see a backfield with Taylor and Anderson this year."
Katy is going to need them both.
The Texas 5A Division II playoff bracket (where Katy usually falls) will be much more difficult this season and may be even tougher to win than Division I, depending on how the teams disperse.
Jackson, however, said a healthy Taylor - who still has offers from more than a dozen big-time programs despite his injury - will give Katy a chance to flourish.
"The expectation is that Katy will get both Anderson and Taylor the ball plenty and each will be over 1,000 yards," he said. "If that happens - and teams need to key on two backs - Katy will be a tough team to handle."