ORLANDO — When Kelvin Taylor shuts off the lights after a long day and goes to bed, he can’t sleep. Instead, he finds himself thinking about the biggest decision he made in his life.
Last week, Taylor declared for the 2016 NFL Draft after having a breakout season for the Gators. He’s rushed for 985 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, after being inconsistent in his first two seasons.
The Belle Glade native has also seen what coach Jim McElwain has done in his first year at the helm of the program, so coming back for his senior year was enticing for Taylor.
But when he finally closes his eyes and goes to sleep, he knows in his heart that he made the right decision to leave.
“Not really an easy one. But at the same time, I feel like it was a smart one. It was just the right decision,” Taylor said. “My teammates and my coaches are fine with it and they supported me really good through this decision.
“I’m just thankful for those guys and I’m looking forward to just finishing with a bang on Friday.”
Taylor also had the help from his father — former Florida running back and Jacksonville Jaguar Fred Taylor — on deciding to forgo his senior season and enter the draft.
“I leaned on my father a whole lot. … It was a family decision, but we’re comfortable with it,” Taylor said. “I feel like that’s going to be the best decision for me and my family for my future.”
Taylor is on the cusp of a couple of milestones for UF running backs. He is just 15 yards away from becoming the first Florida running back to rush for 1,000 yards since Mike Gillislee did it back in 2012.
The junior running back is also one touchdown away from tying Emmitt Smith’s single-season rushing touchdown for running backs with 14. Former quarterback Tim Tebow has the single-season rushing touchdown record with 23.
And when he sent in his draft evaluation, Taylor said he was happy with what he got back, which was huge component of making his decision.
“I got pretty good feedback,” Taylor said. “I’m excited about that.”
Follow Luis Torres on Twitter @LFTorresIII