Running back Taylor granted release by Kentucky

Running back Justin Taylor has asked for and been granted his release by Kentucky, a team spokesman confirmed on Monday.

Taylor, a red-shirt freshman from Atlanta who originally had committed to Alabama before signing with UK, had fallen down the Cats’ depth chart.

“We appreciate Justin’s efforts and wish him the best as he continues his career,” Coach Mark Stoops said in a statement.

When asked about Taylor in the post-spring Southeastern Conference teleconference, Stoops said the 5-foot-10 back who ran four times for nine yards in the Blue-White Game, had “a lot of work to do” to earn playing time.

Though no depth chart has been made public, Taylor likely was situated behind seniors Raymond Sanders and Jonathan George as well as sophomores Josh Clemons and Dyshawn Mobley.

UK also has signed JoJo Kemp, one of the nation’s top running backs, according to several recruiting services.

Taylor is the first player to transfer since Stoops took over the program in December. Defensive backs Marcus Caffey and Jonathan Reed both were dismissed for a violation of team rules in January.

Several unpublished reports on Monday had Taylor transferring to South Carolina State, but the sports information director there said he couldn’t confirm anything at this time.

“Per my compliance office, we cannot provide comment on transfers until proper documents have been signed,” spokesman Bill Hamilton said via email. “I am unable to provide any additional details.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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