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When Clemson two-star athlete Will Taylor went down with a season-ending knee injury with the football team last October, it changed the course of his first season with the baseball program. 

Tigers baseball coach Monte Lee shared an update with the All Clemson staff during Tuesday's edition of "Death Valley Daily" on the status of the receiver/outfielder and when he could be on the diamond this spring. 

"I would say by opening weekend (Feb. 18-20), we'll have a better idea of what his timeline is going to look like," Lee said. "Anytime you're dealing with rehab it's a domino effect. Once he begins that rehab program we have to keep him healthy. He may be ahead of schedule, if he has a setback, those types of things come into play. Once we see where he's at when he begins running and swinging a bat, we'll have a little better idea of when we'll be able to get him on the playing field."

The first step in that process is coming soon. Taylor is currently watching and waiting, but Lee said the freshman will begin running in the coming weeks. 

"He's in great spirits," Lee said. "He's been here every day. He's been standing in on pitchers throwing their bullpen. He's been throwing, which is really the only two things he can do. 

"He begins straight-line running here in a couple of weeks. I don't have the exact date. That will obviously be determined by the physical therapist, the doctor, the medical staff here. Whenever they determine that he can begin his straight-line running progression, that's when he can begin swinging the bat."

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Taylor, who earned a role as Clemson's primary punt returner and "Wildcat" quarterback in 2021, suffered the injury against Boston College on Oct. 2. 

"Well, the biggest loss from the game was Will Taylor. He did tear his ACL and just been a crazy year from that standpoint," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said last October. "And just, you know, like most ACLs non-contact is kind of stick your foot in the ground."

Taylor's been working to get on the diamond ever since, and Lee said the issue right now is that he can't put any torque on his knee yet, which means no hitting. 

Taylor was selected in the 19th round of the MLB draft by the Texas Rangers last summer but could've gone much higher if he had told pro clubs that he wanted a career in baseball. Instead, he wanted to play both sports for the Tigers

The Irmo, S.C., native who led Dutch Fork to a 5A state title in 2020 rushed for 20 yards on five carries, caught four passes for six yards and returned six punts for 64 yards in four games for Dabo Swinney's program last fall. When healthy, he's expected to impact Lee's team at the plate and in the field. 

"We all know how dynamic an athlete he is," Lee said. "We could see that on the football field. This is a young man that turned down top-10 pick in the draft type money in the baseball draft. When Coach Swinney and I would talk about Will, I always had to throw it in there, 'I know he's a really good football player but he's a better baseball player than he is a football player.'"

Check out what Lee had to say about the rest of Clemson's recruiting class and what he learned from last year's struggles that he'll apply to the 2022 campaign on "Death Valley Daily," which drops at 5 p.m. Tuesday on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcast.

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