Kansas football top 25 difference-makers: No. 23, Taylor Martin
Ask any of the burners on the Kansas football team to name the two fastest players on the team and each will mention his own name and then mention Taylor Martin, which pretty much tells you Martin is the fastest player on the team.
“He’s probably the fastest guy on the team but he will stick it up in there too," offensive coordinator Doug Meacham said. "He does a nice job.”
A muscular 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back, Martin has shown flashes but hasn't yet turned his speed and strength into consistently productive running. His best game came in the 31-24 loss to Iowa State in Memorial Stadium last season. He rushed for 83 yards on 17 carries, scored on a 1-yard touchdown and mixed in a 22-yard gain on the ground. He showcased his speed at West Virginia, streaking down the left sideline for a 45-yard touchdown reception.
Coaches worked with him throughout last season at using his speed more by not making unnecessary cuts. He showed progress, but never enough to supplant the more productive Ke'aun Kinner.
This will be the year Martin, a junior, either takes a step forward with noticeable improvement or moves down the depth chart as younger backs Khalil Herbert and Dom Williams emerge.