Roderick Taylor (6’3/315) of Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss. is a powerful offensive line prospect. He is ranked the No. 3 offensive guard prospect in the nation by Scout, but he has played tackle the last two seasons at Callaway.
With his height and his skill set, he’s an ideal candidate to move inside on the next level, something that he is getting a taste of at the Under Armour All-America Bowl practice this week.
“I played guard my 10th grade year,” said Taylor, “but I was at right guard then. I’m at left guard here.”
This week of practice can be invaluable for players who are better suited to play a different position to give themselves reps against the nation’s best. Taylor is taking advantage of the time to refine his skill-set.
“I feel like my coach is showing me more about my hands, and I feel like that’s my weakest problem. The coach is helping me use my hands better.”
Taylor has plenty of strengths with his size and power, but those attributes are irrelevant without the skill set that Taylor says is his best.
“My feet,” answered Taylor when asked about his biggest strength. “They’re….awesome,” Taylor said with a good natured laugh. God gave me some good feet, so I feel like that’s my strength. I have good hip flex. I can move my hips good, and I’ve got good feet.”
Taylor committed to Ole Miss in July, and Head Coach Hugh Freeze and the atmosphere he has fostered in Oxford is a big reason why.
“I felt home-y and comfortable there,” Taylor answered when asked about making his decision. That’s why I chose my school, where I felt the most comfortable. I love Coach Freeze. He’s laid back, and I like the way he coaches.”
Taylor is physically capable of contributing early in his career on the interior line at Ole Miss. What has he been hearing from the Rebel Coaching staff?
“They just told me not to get too heavy and to stay active. I’m playing basketball this year too.”
When asked who the best player he faced during the first day of practice, Taylor mentioned someone he may see again on the SEC gridiron.
“Da’Shawn Hand (committed to Alabama). It was a difficult match up because of my hands. He was seeing my weakness. When he’d move, I’d move my hands, but my coach fixed that. He said ‘stop moving my hands, keep them solid in my middle so I can be ready to punch.’”
When asked when he was recruiting anyone at the game, Taylor had an answer that showed he was wise beyond his years.
“Recruiting guys is good and all, but at the end of the day, it’s still their decision.”
Roderick Taylor has already made his decision, and Ole Miss fans will enjoy watching him in Oxford.