Washington’s ‘Speed Racer’ Finds The End Zone
By Mason Kelley
BOULDER, Colo. – There are two words printed in block, black letters on Kendyl Taylor’s mouthguard: “SPEED RACER.”
The nickname was given to the sophomore in fall camp when Washington took a break from football to race go-karts. One of Taylor’s teammates dubbed him Speed Racer after the character from the cartoon.
Fast on the field and in a go-kart, the nickname stuck. Taylor liked it, so he embraced it.
“I didn’t have a nickname and everybody had the Legion of Zoom, so I stuck with Speed Racer,” Taylor said.
Taylor showed off his speed Saturday, scoring a 9-yard touchdown during Washington’s 38-23 victory over Colorado at Folsom Field.
The Huskies trailed by 10 points with less than a minute to play in the half, when Taylor found himself open in the end zone. Quarterback Cyler Miles delivered a well-placed pass and Taylor celebrated his second touchdown of the season.
He raised his right hand – the one holding the ball – before being hoisted into the air by offensive lineman Siosifa Tufunga.
“It was good,” Taylor said. “I saw the opportunity and everything was there, so I hoped Cyler would throw me the ball. He did. I caught it and made the most of my opportunity.”
The touchdown was Taylor’s only reception of the game, but it gave the Huskies some life before halftime. He provided some confidence before freshman Dante Pettis capped the comeback by finishing with 172 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns – a 28-yard touchdown reception and an 87-yard punt return.
“He (Taylor) has been there with us since Day 1,” Miles said. “He’s grinded through the struggles, grinded through tough times. He came up with a big play today.”
A versatile receiver, Taylor spent time lined up in the backfield against the Buffaloes. By putting him in different places on the field, it provides a different look for the defense.
Taylor said he hopes his touchdown Saturday is only the beginning as he works to become a consistent contributor.
“Hopefully I get on the field a little bit more, make some more plays,” Taylor said. “It’s showing what I can do, producing for the team.”