In recent years, it seems like Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats coaching staff have been bringing in all kinds of running backs to fill the backfield.
Well, in JJ Taylor, they've brought in one of the best running backs in the state of California to possibly take over for Nick Wilson in the near future.
So you're asking yourself "why is a 5'6", 155 pound running back ranked the 107th best player in his state one of the best?" I defer to the L.A. Times on this one, as they named him their high school back of the year. Taylor was able to put up 2,149 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns this year, all while sitting out many fourth quarters due to Centennial's domination of its opponents.
Arizona has not really used small, shifty backs in recent years, as both Ka'Deem Carey and Nick Wilson overpower would-be tacklers. Jonathan Haden was that guy, but has recently decided he will transfer this semester.
I imagine Taylor getting shifted into more of a slot receiver role, just like Haden was. But maybe with a mobile quarterback in this class like Khalil Tate, the run game philosophy will change and benefit Taylor at the college level.
With the graduation of Jared Baker, and the injury history of Wilson, there's certainly an opportunity for Taylor to crack the running back rotation right away. It'll be interesting to see how he can add some mass to his frame.