has been a big star since the day he was born. Only the stage has changed over the years.
"He was 10 pounds, 2 ounces (when he was born) and he looked like he was two months old already," according to his mother, Tiffany Campbell-McGrew. "People on that wing and nurses all came to see the skinny little lady who had a 10-pound baby. He was popular from the start."
Tiffany, age 17 at the time, had been a cheerleader at Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.). The father was popular Central football star Fred Taylor, who later became one of the NFL's premier running backs. They never married, but Fred Taylor, who now has a stable of sons ages 8, 5 and 2, has remained close to Kelvin.
Today Kelvin is a powerful 5-foot-11, 209-pound rising junior running back at Glades Day (Belle Glade, Fla.)
, a private school. A starter since eighth grade, he already has broken Florida records with 50 touchdowns in a season and 116 in a career.
He also is within 963 yards of the Florida career rushing record held by former NFL great Emmitt Smith, within 4,111 yards of the coveted national career rushing record held by Ken Hall
and within 88 touchdowns of the national career record held by Michael Hart.
Breaking it down, he has rushed 826 times for 7,121 yards and 114 touchdowns. He also has scored twice on pass receptions.
The highly athletic teenager runs 40 yards in a swift 4.5 seconds, can bench press 315 pounds and has a vertical jump of 37 inches. The Belle Glade legend – that local athletes get their speed from catching jackrabbits – doesn't apply to Kelvin, who swears he never even chased one.
Kelvin's running style in amazingly close to his father, who starred for the Jacksonville Jaguars and most recently played for the New England Patriots.
"I do run just like my father," Kelvin agreed. "It's just natural. I've watched a lot of video of him and I see him play five or six times each year. He taught me about defensive formations, to trust your vision. He's a great person to talk to about football. I'm blessed to have a father in the NFL.
"A little crack – that's all I need. I don't need a big hole. Just a little burst and I'm gone. I break a lot of tackles, but I like to make people miss a lot, too. I love when they stack nine men (up front). No defense bothers me. Every play I touch the ball I try to score."
Kelvin honors his father by wearing his uniform number (21). Though their style is similar, Fred says that his son is more talented in most areas, except he is not quite as quick.
"At that age, I was nothing like him," Fred said. "His jump cut is way better, the way he accelerates. I made a lot of mistakes (off the field). I tell him to enjoy your youth."
The elder Taylor is extremely impressed with his son's work ethic. He noted, "He works extremely hard. His work habits are way ahead of me at his age. I never really wanted to push (football). If he was receptive, we'd run for it. He was receptive. I'm not surprised he is playing as well as he is."
Part of that work ethic is running the hills surrounding Lake Okeechobee, something he has been doing tirelessly since age 11. It's a tradition that was followed by his father and those before him. He also runs track, adding speed to his power.
Running around the lake isn't hard, but he has to be constantly aware of an alligator possibly crossing his path.
The result of all that running is why Palm Beach Post sports writer Jeff Greer says, "He has two tree trunks for legs. He's so powerful. What makes him so highly touted is that he's not only built, but he's very elusive. When games are more important, he gets better and better. That's part of his mystique."
According to his mother, Kelvin was a natural when it came to football. She recalled, "All he wanted was a football. He was able to catch a football when he was 2 years old. Everybody used to be amazed. He works at it hard. Football is his life."
At age 7, he started organized football, always with older players because of his size. He was in great demand as soon as coaches found out that Fred was his father.
His uncle, Jerry Campbell, quarterbacked Glades Central to a state title in 1998 and helped Kelvin with his early development. He learned early discipline, because his uncle would throw the 7-year-old passes and every time he dropped one he had to do 15 or 20 pushups. Continue reading after video Continue reading