LANSING | Ask Fred Taylor's coaches about him and they'll tell you the same thing.
"First one on the field, the last one off," Rebels defensive coordinator Bob Padjen said. "He has learned and played just about every line position."
Offensive line coach Trent Jensen almost echoed Padjen word-for-word.
"First one on, the last off," Jensen said. "Fred has worked to get better and is very competitive."
Taylor and his South teammates will need every bit of their competitiveness Friday when the Rebels (5-4) travel to Lincoln-Way North (8-1) for a first-round Class 6A playoff game.
The all-South Suburban Blue Conference selection was instrumental in South's 39-6 win over Lemont, which earned the Rebels a spot in the postseason for the 17th time in 20 years. Taylor had a blocked punt and two fumble recoveries.
"We knew this was our playoff game and I was not going to let us lose," Taylor said. "Our whole team came together and we want to carry that into the playoffs.
"We knew we had to come after it from the get-go and we did. The fumble, blocked punt, that set the tone early."
Taylor has played every position on both sides of the line, including tight end.
"I play where the coaches need me," Taylor said. "I love playing both sides of the ball."
Taylor has 37 solo tackles and 22 assists, including four sacks and eight tackles-for-loss.
His versatility has been a plus, said Rebels head coach Tom Padjen.
"We've been able to use him where we need him because he can adjust," Padjen said. "Fred is a senior and as a leader, I think that rubs off on the other kids."
Taylor did not play football as a freshman, thinking his future was in basketball. He said he missed playing.
"I am really glad I came out and football has been a lot of fun," Taylor said. "the coaches, teammates, everything here at T.F. South, I have enjoyed it.
"We've been very successful and we want to continue that."