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Florida Adds Preferred Walk-On At Running Back

Running back Mark Herndon has decided to take his chances in Florida’s offensive backfield this fall.

Herndon, who attends Forest High School in Ocala, Fla., signed a national letter of intent with Division II Lindenwood (Mo.) University in February. He told the Gainesville Sun on Monday he will instead accept a preferred walk-on position at Florida.

“It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do since I began playing, to play Division I football and continue my dream,” Herndon said. “Going to Lindenwood I felt like I would’ve had to give up on what I really wanted to do, and that’s just not the type of person I am.”

Herndon, who will likely redshirt this fall, will have a chance to earn a scholarship in the future.

“I’m pretty confident I can step in and contribute,” he said.

Herndon won’t face a lot of competition at the running back position in the class of 2012. Seffner, Fla., native Matt James was the only running back to sign with the Gators in February.

Florida has commitments from two in-state running backs for the class of 2013: Adam Lane from Winter Haven and Belle Glade standout Kelvin Taylor, who’s the son of former Florida and NFL running back Fred Taylor. Kelvin Taylor told ESPN in February that he doesn’t expect Florida to recruit a third running back in 2013.

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Kelvin Taylor Commits To Florida

Running back Kelvin Taylor from Glades Day High School in Belle Glade, Fla., has committed to Florida for the class of 2013.

Taylor’s father, Fred Taylor, was an All-American running back at Florida before he spent more than a decade playing in the NFL. Kelvin Taylor, who chose the Gators over Alabama, said his father never pushed him to Florida.

“My dad has been great help,” Taylor told “He just told me to pick the best school and pick the school that I love. He just told me to stay focused and keep working hard and everything else will come. But he and my mom and family have all been a great help through the process.”

His father was also pleased to see Kelvin plans to follow in his father’s footsteps. Fred Taylor tweeted a congratulatory message to his son on Saturday morning.

“Congrats to my son @ImKelvinTaylor on his commitment to the best university in the world #GATORNATION”

Taylor had previously planned to wait until National Signing Day to announce his decision. But Taylor, who said he plans to enroll in college in January, decided now is the right time to announce his choice.

“I just wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way,” Taylor said. “I felt more comfortable at Florida, and I wanted to focus more on my high school career, so I just wanted to get it done with. I also want to enroll in January, so that’s another reason I decided to make the decision early.”

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