The countdown to kickoff is on. Over the 100 days before Texas takes on Maryland, we’re counting down the 100 best players the Longhorns will face in 2017. This series is all about impressing your friends at pregame tailgates and watch parties, so grab a notepad and buckle up.
Who is he?
Kansas running back Taylor Martin worked his way into the starting role toward the end of last season, and he’ll be intent on keeping it despite an influx of talent in Lawrence. Martin rushed 91 times for 324 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. He and sophomore Khalil Herbert will compete for carries with prized recruit Dominic Williams and junior college transfer Octavius Matthews.
How can the Longhorns stop him?
Texas learned the hard way that even the worst team in the Big 12 cannot be overlooked, and the same can be said of Martin. A standout at Fort Worth Dunbar, he averaged 12.6 yards per carry as a junior. He’s powerful and elusive, and showed off his speed on a 45-yard touchdown catch at West Virginia last season. Kansas runs the Air Raid under David Beaty, but ignoring its running backs would be foolish.
Martin started against the Longhorns in 2016, but barely featured in the 20-16 overtime upset. He had two carries for four yards.
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