The Texas Sports Information Office continued its "preview" of the 2006 football team with a look at the tailbacks today. In it they highlight the considerable accomplishments of Mr. Ramonce Taylor, though they do not preview him for this season as they do Jamaal Charles, Selvin Young, and Henry Melton.
Taylor, you may remember, made the news in May after he was arrested for felony possession of marijuana. Having already been suspended for the team for issues with his grades, I postulated that Taylor's days as a Texas Longhorn were behind him.
Was my burial premature?
Rumors in Austin have Taylor working out with the team during informal 7-on-7 drills. The non-sanctioned practices, which coaches or university officials cannot organize, attend, or watch over, have many wondering if Taylor's presence indicates a potential return to the gridiron.
Some think we may yet see more of this.
Other sources are speculating that the charges against Taylor will be dropped, which has added fuel to the speculative fire. If true, Taylor's chances of earning reinstatement to the team certainly are dramatically better.
Still, from where I'm sitting Taylor's return seems highly unlikely - whether the charges are dropped or not. As I said before, this is big business, and image counts, so how Mack handles problem cases is carefully scrutinized. If the marijuana incident had been Taylor's first, a forgiving second chance seems plausible, if not likely. However, Taylor's problems extend beyond an isolated incident. Taken in sum, they form a pattern, painting a picture of a young man with self-control and behavioral problems.
In that light, Mack Brown may be more likely to view Taylor as a ticking time bomb. So much so that, especially considering Texas' depth at tailback, it would be risky (at the least) to re-insitate him. No one player is bigger than the program. Mack Brown has never shied away from that principle before - it seems unlikely he would do so now.
At this point, it's still all very speculative, and we can't draw any further conclusions until everything plays out a little more. Still, the smart money's on Ramonce Taylor being done as a Longhorn.