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Q & A With Tatum Taylor, O'Dea Running Back

Running Back Tatum Taylor from O'Dea HS is one of the top players in Washington state in the Class of 2013. Here's an interview with him covering his success as a player and his future on the gridiron.

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This Thursday, two of 3A's top football teams will face off against each other. The No. 2 undefeated O'Dea Fighting Irish (7-0) will be battling the No. 8 ranked Seattle Prep Panthers (7-0) for the Metro Mountain regular season title. Junior running back Tatum Taylor is one of the most electrifying players in the state, helping make O'Dea's offense one of the most explosive in the entire state. View his highlight tape here.

Tell me about your season so far. How's the team doing? How have you performed individually so far?
The teams doing really good. We are becoming a team and one big game that showed our development was the Eastside Catholic game. It made us come together as one. I have performed well, I try not worry about my stats until after the season, but right now I have 53 carries with 695 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Your team faced some adversity in that game, what specific obstacles did you guys have to overcome to come out with a victory?
Some obstacles included injuries to our running back Jayshawn Jordan and our linebacker Curtis Taylor were out of the game. People had to step up so we could pull out the victory. It was also in a really hostile environment.

What's it like playing in an offense with multiple running backs?
It's fun to play in a two running back system. It's hard for other teams to try and strategize against us. It makes the game easier for both of us and helps us perform better.

Do you guys have pretty similar running styles? What makes you two different?
He is more of the power back that likes to run through the middle. I'm more of a speed and elusive type of back who breaks long plays. So far nine out of thirteen of my touchdowns have been runs longer than 15 yards.

Sort of like Reggie Bush and LenDale White?


What's it like to play under such a prestigious program with so much success and tradition? Do you feel any pressure to perform?
It's a great honor to play in a program like O'Dea. I try to value it each and every time I step up on the field. No, there is no pressure playing in a program like this. The coaches do a good job each and every week preparing us for the game.

You're having a great football season, but you have also achieved success on the track. Do you plan on running in the spring again?

Yes, I'm looking forward to running in next years track season. Hopefully I can accomplish winning the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay at state.

I'm guessing the goal is to earn an athletic scholarship to play football or run track somewhere?
Yes I would like to get a full ride football scholarship and walk on to the track team. But whatever comes, comes.

Your height and weight?
5'10", 160lbs

What do you need to improve most on to become a better running back?
The thing I need to improve on most at running back is my footwork. Sometimes I have a tendency to rely on my speed and not use my fundamentals and footwork.

You aren't worried about adding on more weight and muscle? You can take hits pretty well?
No, I'm not worried about that because at the college level I want to play slot receiver .Yes I can take hits well.

What's the hardest hit you've taken and who gave it to you, in practice or in a game?
I really haven't received a big hard hit yet.

Haha. I guess your speed has paid off. How about this, who would you least look forward to receiving a tackle from on your team?
Our defensive tackle Cody Fullerton. He's 6'4", weighs 264lbs and benches 320lbs.

Sounds scary. How's your recruitment coming along? Have any schools contacted you yet?
Yes, recruiting is going very well in both track and football. In track Alabama and WSU have shown interest. In football, Oregon, Notre Dame, and WSU have all shown interest.

Alright some quick hits: What's your 40 time?
I haven't ran an official one. I have ran a hand-timed 4.28

Favorite athlete?
Usain Bolt

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I play NCAA 12 on the Xbox 360.

Favorite song to listen to right now?
Red nation by The Game featuring Lil' Wayne.

What are your thoughts heading into the Prep game this weekend?
I just want to do the best I can to help my team come out with the win because it's senior night.

Any final shout-outs?
I'd like to give a shout-out to my cousin Shane for helping me become who I am.

Read our past Q & A's with the state's top football players: RB Cody Taylor (Hazen HS), DL Zaheer Webb (Lakes HS), OL Nathan Dean (Juanita HS), WR Michael Rector (Bellarmine Prep), DB Tere Calloway (Seattle Prep), QB Austin Lee (Sammamish HS), QB Brian Marty (Meadowdale HS)