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February 8, 2012Standout running back Adam Taylor of Kay, Texas was more philosophical than distraught after having his junior season cut short because of injury.
"You never want that type stuff to happen, but everything happens for a reason," Taylor said rather matter-of-factly. "I really didn't get too sad about it because it's going to be better in the end. I got to see things a little differently being on the sideline instead of being on the field."
Nearly three quarters into the first game of Katy's 2011 season Taylor, who rushed for 1,553 yards as a sophomore, had already cracked the 100-yard barrier when on his 20th carry against North Shore, he took a hit to the side of his knee and wasn't able to get up.
Just like that, after 20 carries and 106 yards, Taylor was finished for the season with a torn ACL. He had surgery on Sept. 9 and was given a 5-6 month roadmap for recovery and is back to full speed, straight-ahead running again.
"I kept positive and talked to family and got closer to God," Taylor said. "Everything's coming along pretty fast. It's better than they expected and I should be ready to go full speed by the spring."
When he was at full speed Taylor was the second-leading rusher for Katy in 2010 when he averaged 9.77 yards per carry on 160 attempts to go along with 18 touchdowns. Taylor had nine games of 100 yards or more and two others of 94 or better with a career-best of 209 yards coming on 15 attempts in a 56-3 win over Cinco Ranch.
That was the season that made college recruiters stand up and take notice of Taylor - a strong, physical runner - and despite the injury of last season the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has not fallen off of any recruiting radars.
LSU was among the first to offer a scholarship last summer and since then Taylor reports 16 offers from the likes of Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Illinois, Wisconsin and Northwestern.
"During this (recovery) process I wasn't really focusing on recruiting and just trying to get everything back right," Taylor said. "I was very happy about that (scholarship offers). That was one thing I was worried about. Your junior year's your recruiting year. I wished I could have played because my goal was to be in an All-American game."
Taylor, who is being recruited by special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, said his offer from LSU took place during an unofficial visit to the campus last July. He said he always admired LSU's program from afar and wanted to gain a better perspective which the visit seemed to accomplish.
"It's great a program with a great tradition and I really wanted to visit," Taylor said. "I really liked the coaches. It was everything I'd hoped for and plenty more."
There were a couple of other factors that caught the attention of Taylor during LSU's recent run to a 13-1 record and Southeastern Conference championship: the Tigers power running game and the dynamic play of All-American Tyrann Mathieu.
"I was kind of sad they didn't come away with it," Taylor said. "I watched all of their games to see the Honey Badger."
Taylor, who has been timed at 4.5 in the 40, pictures himself as the prototypical runner for a run-oriented team such as LSU that thrives on between-the-tackles running, but has enough of a burst to be able to bounce it outside for additional yardage.
"I like a power, downhill running team," Taylor said.
During his unofficial visit last summer Taylor said LSU Head Coach Les Miles told him he had a place on his team for a back of his ability and mind-set.
Taylor is hopeful of a return visit to LSU, possibly as early as the spring to watch spring practice, with an eye toward an unofficial visit in the fall to see a home game and determine whether the Tigers could be a major player for his services.
"I want to come and see how things are structured," Taylor said. "Right now I want to keep all of my options open because you never know what great opportunity you may have until you look closely at it. I just want to see what's best for me and my family, especially look the type of offense they run."