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Monday, December 17, 2012
Five from Friday: Taylor worth a look?

By Max Olson

Every week through the football season, HornsNation’s William Wilkerson and Max Olson will break down five things they learned while on the road at Texas high school football games. From the latest on Longhorns commits and offers to game observations to players who caught their attention, they've got you covered. Here’s what they saw this weekend:

Max’s game: Katy vs. Cibolo Steele

1. Taylor does it all

There’s been talk lately that Texas could look into Katy running back Adam Taylor to fill the void left by Kyle Hicks’ decommitment.

Taylor said he hasn’t heard from Texas coaches lately, and he’s still firmly committed to Nebraska. But the Longhorns ought to at least look into it.

The four-star power back was an absolute stud in a 45-33 win over Cibolo Steele on Saturday, rushing for 226 yards and three scores on a remarkable 40 totes.

Taylor isn’t like many of the touted backs who come out of this state. He doesn’t dance outside and get all his yardage by making guys miss in the open field. He prides himself on running right up the middle. Tayor took a pounding and he kept punching.

He looked, quite honestly, like an excellent Big Ten-type back, and he could have a chance to be quite good at Nebraska in a few years. But Texas ought to at least inqure.

Taylor came back from last year’s season-ending knee injury and has rushed, so far, for 2,392 yards and 39 touchdowns. The Longhorns would really be getting a steal if they could land Taylor and stash him for a year or two.

2. Huhn tries to help

Injured Texas commit Erik Huhn wanted to send a message on Saturday.

So he suited up, and he came out of the tunnel with his teammates one last time.

Huhn knew full well, of course, that he couldn’t play against Katy. He’s still rehabbing from the torn ACL that ended his season in Steele’s first game of the year.

But this one was important to him. Huhn stayed in his pads for the entire first half, pacing the sidelines and trying to fire guys up. You could tell how much he meant to this team. Fellow safety Jordan Sterns, an Oklahoma State commit, wore Huhn’s No. 6 helmet on Saturday to honor him.

Huhn took it as hard as anyone when Steele ultimately lost. Losing hurt, but not being able to do anything about it was worse.

Now Huhn will focus on getting healthy and ready to join the Longhorns. Considering UT has yet to take another safety for this 2013 class, a complete recovery will be critical. I don’t know that Huhn plays as a freshman, but he might be needed.

3. Fulks interested in Texas

Texas coaches stopped by Katy last week, but not to check out Taylor.

They were looking into Kyle Fulks, the Tigers’ three-star athlete, and gauging his interest in the Longhorns.

There certainly seems to be some interest there. Fulks, a Baylor commit since April, told me he grew up a Texas fan and would definitely like to receive an offer.

Of course, Katy played at Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, and Bears coach Art Briles watched the game from one corner of the end zone. For that reason, Fulks was hesitant to get into what decision he’d made if Texas did offer.

Fulks is a take because of his speed. He played receiver and cornerback and returned kicks for Katy. He’s a 5-foot-8, 165-pound track star as well who took silver at the Texas state track meet in the 100-meter dash.

4. Heard comes up big

Texas will have one representative among its commits next weekend in the state championship games at Cowboys Stadium: Jerrod Heard.

The 2014 quarterback pledge led Denton Guyer to a wild 57-53 win over John Tyler on Friday night. The two teams combined for 63 points in the fourth quarter, and Guyer blew a 19-point lead. Then Heard led a game-winning 12-play scoring drive in 1:30.

Heard rushed for 318 yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries and added 72 passing yards. Next up is a state title game against Georgetown next Saturday at noon.

This is Guyer’s second trip to the title game in Heard’s career. In his freshman year, J.W. Walsh took the Wildcats to the championship but came up short against Malcolm Brown and Cibolo Steele.

5. Down goes DeSoto

Let the speculation about Claude Mathis’ future officially begin.

Mathis’ DeSoto Eagles were stunned by Allen on Saturday night, 51-36, and won’t play for the state title many expected them to win.

Allen rushed for 394 yards as a team and held DeSoto athlete Dontre Wilson to 39 rushing yards on the day. Jumping out to a 41-20 lead in the third quarter made that a whole lot easier.

Will Mathis become Texas’ new running backs coach? He declined to comment on that possibility to HornsNation last week, vowing his focus was entirely on the Allen game.

Now the season is over. Time to find out if Texas likes Mathis for this job, and whether he’d even take it.