The Washington Times - August 20, 2008, 03:48PM

Richard Taylor was still wearing his hospital bracelet last night, a reminder of a rather horrowing morning he won’t soon forget.

Concussion. Dehydration. A trip via ambulance to a medical helicopter that transported him to the hospital. And finally a night of rest at his Centreville, Va., home.

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“Hopefully, I’m done with that,” Taylor said. “I got that out of the way early. Hopefully, I can get back to playing football and winning championships.”

Taylor was thankful for the immediate attention from the Terrapins’ medical and athletic training staff on what was really the first scorching day of camp. Maryland had another practice in stifling heat yesterday, but things have turned mild today.

One of the major lessons Taylor took from the experience: Lumbering linemen aren’t the only players susceptible to heat-related problems.

“I’m a little guy,” Taylor said. “I’m not a big guy who you would think would suffer from something like that. That goes to show you when you’re out there you have to drink and you have to be careful.”

Taylor is a really sharp guy. He already has an undergraduate degree, and didn’t practice until late last season because of an ACL injury. He’ll wind up with a master’s degree in real estate development because of his extra year on scholarship. Not a bad deal, even with the injury.

But in reality, the second-string cornerback didn’t need to play football for another season, and he sure wasn’t banking on a trip to the hospital being part of the bargain for extending his career.

“That’s not what I came back for,” Taylor said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

He’s hoping it stays that way, too.

Patrick Stevens