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September 13, 2012

Taylor in comfort zone at running back

Evan Taylor might be 3,000 miles from his home in California, but the redshirt sophomore running back has never felt more at home on the football field at Robert Morris.

Taylor, the 5-foot-10, 180 pound running back from Redding, California, started his Robert Morris career as a cornerback despite being a running back all throughout high school. Taylor embraced the switch back to running back with open arms.

"I played running back my whole life, so I feel like I have a natural ability and a good running style. They felt like it was a good switch because they had lots of backs leaving, and I'm glad they made the switch," he said.

Taylor said he stayed at school all summer and worked on getting faster as opposed to going back to California. He said he chose to play at RMU because he wanted to play at the highest level and the Colonials gave him that opportunity. About halfway through the summer, Taylor received a call from the coaches who informed him about the switch. He said that gave him more fuel to "pump the weights a little harder and get my mind right to play at a college level again."

Taylor, who played in seven games and recorded two tackles as a true freshman, is coming off shoulder surgery that cost him all of the 2011 season. He described his time on defense as "tough" but said he'll miss the fact that he won't be able to save his body as much because he won't take as many shots on defense. However, Taylor's heart is on offense.

"I have a running back's mentality. I feel like I can work 110 percent, get better each day, help the team win, and help the team get those yards," he said.

Taylor said his speed is his best asset as a running back. He also acknowledged that he has a lot to work on. >{? "I have to read my blocks better. Getting to know what my lineman are doing, getting on the same page as them, and following them to success," he said. "It starts on the O-line and we've got a great offense that gives the running backs a great chance to break through the line."

Taylor credits former Robert Morris running back and current running backs coach Myles Russ for a lot of his success.

"Everyday he's just correcting me, getting that much better and that much closer to success," he said.

Despite getting praise from coach Joe Walton after last weeks game against Albany, Taylor said he feels like he's still getting used to the speed of the game and knows the transition is a process.

"Everyone is pretty much an all-star out there. My attitude is to go 110 percent and try to keep my head up," Taylor said. "I'm going to make mistakes, but I've got to learn from my running backs coach Myles Russ. I get to learn from the best. He's the best running back to come here through Robert Morris so I think I've got a great leader to lead me to success."

Despite changing positions, the win-at-all-costs attitude doesn't change.

"Whatever I can do to help the team win, I'm going to do," Taylor said.

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