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February 5, 2010

Taylor inks letter of intent with Rice

The options were there for Jordan Taylor depending on which way the Denison athlete wanted to go.

At one school it would be as a receiver. Another offered playing time at quarterback. And in the final hours before he signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday morning to play football for Rice, Taylor was still being sought by other programs.

He chose the Owls over Utah, North Texas and a late push by Tulsa, which would have made him a receiver catching passes from G.J. Kinne, the son of current Sherman head coach Gary Kinne.

"Academically you can't beat Rice," Taylor said. "I kind of thought if I wanted to play quarterback then I'd have to go to North Texas."

Ultimately Taylor will play receiver at the college level after being a record-setting quarterback for the Jackets.

"I was talking to their offensive coordinator and they run some of the plays that we run," Taylor said. "It's just catching the ball instead of throwing it."

Taylor started at receiver as a sophomore and was an honorable mention all-state selection with 29 catches for 575 yards and 11 touchdowns. The touchdowns are the fourth-most in school history.

This past season Taylor, who was the District 9-4A MVP, set single-season school records by completing 153-of-233 passes for 2,463 yards and 27 touchdowns despite missing the season-opener as Denison reached the state semifinals for the first time since 1997 before losing to eventual state champion Aledo and finishing with a 13-2 record. He also ran for 1,362 yards and 23 touchdowns on 169 carries in directing an offense that set program records for most yards with 7,174 and points in a season at 675.

Last year in nine games, Taylor had 910 yards and 10 touchdowns passing and 903 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing.

He graduates as Denison's all-time leader in completions (253), passing yards (3,729) and touchdowns (40) as well as the single-game holder for passing yards (298) and touchdowns (four).

"He is an intriguing prospect who has shown the ability to play either quarterback or wide receiver," Rice head coach David Bailiff said.

Taylor, whose older brother, Ryan, has one year left as an offensive lineman at UCLA, has said he will also try to walk on to the baseball program. It is the success of that sport which might open the door for Taylor to see time at quarterback.

"They have one guy who looks to be drafted and is going baseball full-time and he was a quarterback," Taylor said. "That was a really good thing to hear."

Rice went 2-10 this past season, one year after going 10-3 and winning the Texas Bowl -- the program's first bowl victory since 1954. Among the non-conference games next season include at game at the University of North Texas.

Honey Grove running back Zach Patt joins Taylor as part of Rice's latest recruiting class. This is also the second straight season an area player has signed with the Owls. Pottsboro's Cody Bauer will be a sophomore defensive lineman next season.






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