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Rookie 49ers RB Kelvin Taylor Credits Famous Father for NFL Readiness

Posted May 4, 2016

Kelvin’s father is Fred Taylor, a 13-year veteran (Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots) who has the 16th-most rushing yards (11,695) in league history.

Kelvin Taylor’s relationship with his dad is a typical father-son relationship.

They hang out. They go to the movies. And, of course, they watch a lot of football.

The major difference, however, is when the father of the San Francisco 49ers recent sixth-round draft pick hits pause on the DVR to break down a play. Instead of rewinding to admire the highlight from an entertainment perspective, the father-son duo uses it as a teaching moment.

That's when "dad" tuurns to "coach."

After all, Kelvin’s father is Fred Taylor, a 13-year veteran NFL running back (Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots) who has the 16th-most rushing yards (11,695) in league history.

“My dad will stop the TV and break the whole clip down,” the Florida running back said on a recent 49ers Radio podcast. “He’ll literally rewind the whole clip and break it down. This is during an NFL game. He’ll ask me, ‘What’s going on? What you see from the defense?' That’s cool that we’ll be hanging out and my dad is still being my coach. That’s a very great thing to have.”

Indeed, Kelvin, the 211th overall selection, joins the 49ers with a unique pedigree. He also has the production to back it up. Taylor did not fumble the ball in any of his 510 touches (486 carries) during his career for the Gators.

The Taylors talked a lot about being an all-around ‘back with great vision, jump-cut ability, but above all, being reliable. In fact, ball security was the biggest lesson preached by Fred, Jacksonville’s first-round pick (ninth overall) in 1998.

“To be a great running back, you have to protect the ball first,” Kelvin said. “I don’t care what kind of running back you are. If you cannot protect the ball – you do not have a chance in this league.

“That’s one thing my dad always preached to me, ‘Do not put the ball on the ground, because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about – protecting that football.’ I take very great pride in that.”

Sixth-round selection or not, Kelvin’s 2,108 rushing yards and 23 rushing scores in college gave him confidence entering the NFL this past weekend. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound runner made that swagger known in his first conversation with general manager Trent Baalke.

"He’s all ball,” Baalke said at the conclusion of the draft. “Obviously, the pedigree, his father was an excellent running back in his own right in the National Football League. He’s not his father. Not trying to compare him to his father.

“He’s going to make his own way in this business, but he’s all ball, very enthusiastic. We got him on the phone and the thing he said was, ‘You won’t regret this decision.’ That strikes me as something. It gave us insight to really who he was and who we thought he was. He just wants to come in and compete.”

Days later, Kelvin added context to why he made the statement to Baalke.

“I just felt like I was ready to go,” Kelvin said. “I feel like I have a lot to show everyone what kind of player I am. I feel like they really got a steal in the late round.”

Kelvin’s post-draft celebration was short lived. While speaking on the phone, Kelvin was parked outside his former high school, Glades Day HS in Belle Glades, Fla. Kelvin said he was there to watch his alma mater practice and then get a workout in of his own once the field cleared.

Kelvin and his fellow rookie teammates will report to the Bay Area this Thursday for the team’s upcoming rookie minicamp.

But before departing for the next chapter of his football career, Kelvin was wise to tap into Fred’s knowledge once again for more advice:

“He was just telling me, ‘You have to embrace the process. You finally got your opportunity, now it’s time to make them pay for it. It’s time to go out there start making plays and be the best football player you can be.  … Start making plays and fun doing it.’”

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