The Times’ high school back of the year: J.J. Taylor of Corona Centennial

In winning 10 section championships, Corona Centennial has produced its share of top running backs, but none has been better than J.J. Taylor.

In his senior season, the 5-foot-6, 170-pound Taylor became the most valuable player of the Pac-5 playoffs, producing 16 touchdowns and 801 yards rushing in four playoff games in helping the Huskies win a second consecutive Pac-5 title.

Taylor, an Arizona commit, has been selected The Times’ back of the year. He rushed for 2,149 yards and 41 touchdowns even though he sat out much of the fourth quarter in games because the Huskies (14-1) were so far in front of opponents.


“He’s an amazing athlete,” Coach Matt Logan said. “He probably should have 4,000 yards rushing if it was a normal season. He’s an incredible player. He has it all. He runs hard, has balance, speed, he’s tough, he can catch the ball.”

His playoff run was similar to what teammate Javon McKinley, a receiver, pulled off last season in helping the Huskies win the Pac-5. Taylor peaked at the right time.

There were 185 yards rushing and seven touchdowns against West Hills Chaminade; 138 yards and three touchdowns against Orange Lutheran; 219 yards and one touchdown against Santa Ana Mater Dei; 261 yards and five touchdowns against Bellflower St. John Bosco and 169 yards against Concord De La Salle.