A wet field, but a very tough and aggressive Middletown Madison defense limited what I could see of Portsmouth High School running back, Taylin Parker last Friday. Sometimes that happens.
Taylin is one of the premier running backs in the Ohio Class of 2020. Listed 5’11-188, he is a true “run between the tackles tailback,” but has the quickness to get to the outside. Really like his initial quickness and burst through the line. Last Friday, he had trouble getting started. But that burst and 2nd effort was there.
After watching his HUDL video, I was impressed with his vision and the ability to make decisions. Most of all, I like his toughness to run and run and run. Last Friday that attitude was there as well.
Taylin also plays outside linebacker. Never leaves the field. Tackles well in space. Good closing speed. Reads and reacts from his OLB position. Again – he plays both ways and never leaves the field. But he is a ball carrier, first.
For the season, he rushed for roughly 2530 yards on roughly 254 carries. Portsmouth does not throw the ball much, so he was not targeted often. Did show some good hands in warm-ups. Catches the ball out of the backfield.
This winter, Taylin will join the swim team at Portsmouth. Never swam competitively before this year.. In the spring, he will sprinting on the track. As a sophomore, he ran in the 11.0 range in the 100 meters. After getting bigger/stronger/faster this past summer, that time will come down.
His coach, Bruce Kalb, told me that he is focused both in the off season and in the classroom. Both good signs. Like so many young athletes, they do not always “buy-in” until after their 9th and/or 10th grade years. After an “offer” from Toledo and O-State and Duke showing serious interest, Taylin, for real, has “bought-in.”
Taylin is tough between the tackles. Breaks tackles, stays on his feet, and has a good burst. He also has the speed to get to the edge. Seems to be always looking to get north/south. Obviously, he strength is his durability and the desire to carry the ball over and over and over again.
For me, he goes into next fall as one of the top three MSR running backs in the Ohio Class of 2020. Needs to keep getting bigger/stronger/faster. Needs to improve his change of direction. Toughness – no problem.