CLEMSON, S.C. — Though he was not playing football Friday night, Clemson wide receiver Will Taylor was back on the field.
It has been seven months since Clemson fans have seen the Irmo, South Carolina native play in a game. The last time they saw him, he was being helped off Frank Howard Field after tearing his ACL against Boston College on October 2, 2021.
And though he was playing a different sport on Friday, Taylor looked as fast and as healthy has he did back in October. In the fifth inning of Clemson’s 9-3 win over No. 21 Georgia Tech on the baseball diamond, he sprinted up the first baseline line to prevent the Yellow Jackets from turning a double play.
“It felt good. According to the little thing I wear when I was at rehab and stuff, it shows that I have been faster through this recovery,” Taylor said. “Give credit to the trainers that have been helping me over in football and baseball. They have done an unbelievable job getting me back this quick.
“So, it has been long days and short weeks and I am ready to get back out here playing and helping this team win.”
It means Taylor should be ready to go when the football team gets back on the field for fall camp in late July.
Taylor said he feels one hundred percent and had no doubt, after a mid-week scrimmage, he could go out and play. Clemson head baseball coach Monte Lee says the plan is to get the Dutch Fork High School product in the field today and see how he does.
“My plan is to play him in the field tomorrow. We will probably try to alternate him, as far as play the field, DH, play the field,” Lee said. “We will bounce him back and forth. We want to see how he does. This is not going to be a set-in-stone thing with Will. We have to see how he feels tomorrow.
“The plan is to try and get him in the field tomorrow. However, we need to see how he feels when he gets to the ballpark. Is he stiff and sore? He was on base a few times. It was a long day. So, we just want to make sure he is okay, but we would love to play him in the field tomorrow and see how he does.”
On Friday, Taylor was the Tigers’ designated hitter, as he went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored when Jonathan French popped a two-runner homer one batter after Taylor sprinted out his fielder’s choice to prevent a double play.
Taylor’s one hit came on his first career at-bat, as he led off the second inning with a base knock through the right side of the Georgia Tech infield.
“It was very exciting. I have not felt that excited in about seven months,” he said. “It’s good to be back out there and, hopefully, we keep this going.”
This fall, Taylor is expected to compete for the starting slot position at wide receiver with E.J. Williams, Brannon Spector, and Troy Stellato.
This is the first dual-sport guy I've had in my @ClemsonFB tenure, so when he opted to bypass the MLB Draft, I promised myself I'd be at @willtaylor_10's debut with @ClemsonBaseball. Decided to grab a camera to do my best to document it.
Welcome back, 16. pic.twitter.com/I98LY7gAL8
— Ross Taylor (@ClemsonFBRoss) May 7, 2022