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Taylor proves family’s prediction true as star running back

Omari Taylor competes at the Best Coast Showcase on Sept. 13, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Omari Taylor competes at the Best Coast Showcase on Sept. 13, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

Right from the beginning of his life, Clayton Valley Charter senior running back Omari Taylor’s family knew what he was destined for.

“I’ve been loving football since I was a kid, so I realized that coming out of the womb,” Taylor said. “My dad held me in his hands saying I was a running back.”

From those first moments to now, Taylor has only become more and more of a star running back and one of the elite athletes across the loaded Bay Area high school football landscape.

Taylor’s play on the field sparks shades of his two favorite players growing up – former West Virginia star and NFL player Tavon Austin, along with former Oregon sensation and NFL player De’Anthony Thomas.

Last year, Taylor dominated throughout his junior season, rushing for 1,428 yards and 12 touchdowns, with 790 of those yards come during an incredible five-game postseason run that saw the Ugly Eagles go from a 5-5 regular season in an ever-challenging East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division to winning five games in a row while winning a state crown.

During that state run, which Taylor and his Ugly Eagles teammates are looking to build upon through various showcases, saw Taylor run for 200-plus yards twice to open up the North Coast Section playoffs with a 222-yard effort versus Napa and a 205-yard performance against Foothill.

“The camps – it’s just a good way to come out here and represent Clayton Valley and why we won state,” Taylor said. “And we just come out here to represent ourselves and the school.”

At these camps and over this offseason, Taylor and his Clayton Valley Charter teammates have only added to their repertoire, helping make them the No. 5 team in the 25 Days of Christmas Bay Area Preseason Football Rankings.

Taylor said they’ve been staying active throughout the quarantine, coming together at the field and preparing for the upcoming season as they look to add to their storied resume with each other at the school.

“Just we’ve been working on some new plays we got cooking up,” Taylor said. “We’ve been working on just trying to get faster, stronger, better. Just trying to stay active because the season is coming up.”

Although no offers have poured in yet for Taylor, the interest is there from various schools, and he’s excited for whichever opportunity presents itself to compete collegiately.

“It would mean the world,” Taylor said. “That’s just an opportunity.”

But, right now, Taylor is focused on everything and not just the college landscape.

What Taylor also strives for is representing Clayton Valley Charter in the highest regard and winning at the highest level again.

“I’m just trying to get to college, see the college life and build from there and have a good season this season, represent,” Taylor said.

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