Freshman running back, #35, Edward James (E.J.) Taylor has added a hard-nosed, bruising dynamic to the Hobart offense this season. Standing at 5’11 and weighing 220 pounds from Cleveland, Ohio, Taylor has been able to make an immediate impact in only his first season as a collegiate athlete. He credits a strong, hard-worked preseason towards putting him in the position to see success as a first-year student athlete.
“College football is very tough. I mean, it takes a group of unique individuals to even attempt to play a college sport at all levels. Having a team and having fun with your teammates is probably the part that gets you through”.
In high school, E.J. was on the second team all-state list in Ohio, and on first team in his league. He did this all while maintaining academic honor roll every step of the way. Moving forward, the freshman looks to continue the healthy balance he has in place. In eight games, Taylor has run the ball 64 times for 330 yards and three touchdowns- good for 5.2 yards per carry. His longest run came against Keystone College on September 23, a 38-yard dash en route to the team’s 43-10 blowout win. E.J finished with 11 rushes and 99 yards, his best stat line thus far.
The Hobart football coaching staff clearly trusts the young running back, who has clearly earned the third running back spot on the depth chart behind seniors Rayshawn Boswell and Tim Denham Jr. As a runner, E.J Taylor is explosive and uses a strong lower body to churn out the tough yardage. He is quicker than many linebackers and bigger than most defensive backs, so it often takes multiple tacklers to bring him down. It will be interesting to see how his role develops over the course of the season and into his sophomore campaign.
“As long as I keep working hard, I hope the coaches recognize the hard work I put in to be in a spot to be able to start, play a lot, be able to make an impact so we can potentially make playoffs and go further than that. So that’s my goal, to work hard and earn a significant role and to play that role the best I can”.
Of course, football can be as much luck as it is strategy when considering injuries and other adversities, but one thing’s for sure- there’s a certain freshman running back who is more than willing to step up to the challenge.