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Thursday, March 14, 2013
First offer came early for Taylor

By Kipp Adams

ESPN Watch List selection Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Callaway) is one of the most coveted interior linemen in the Southeast. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound mauler received his first scholarship offer very early in the process.

“The first school to offer me was Alabama during a camp after my ninth-grade year,” Taylor said. “The head coach walked up and told me I had a full scholarship to Alabama. That felt great. Alabama has a great school with good coaches and players. I hope to get back there soon to visit.”

Since then at least 10 other offers have come in, although Taylor says his coach might know of more. His last trip was to check out the in-state Bulldogs earlier this year.

“Mississippi State is a good school and I like their facilities,” Taylor said.

Taylor has not been able to take visits this spring because he plays center on his high school basketball team, which won the state championship last week. But even though the battle to keep him within the state lines will be a fierce one, there are a few programs Taylor plans to check out over the next few months.

The University of Georgia recently hired Mississippi State defensive coordinator Chris Wilson from Mississippi State, and Bulldogs offensive line coach Will Friend was a Parade All-American out of Philadelphia, Miss. So it comes as no surprise that Georgia has targeted Taylor.

“All of the Georgia coaches offered me over the phone at my school,” Taylor said. “I do not know too much about Georgia, but I hope to visit them soon.”

If all goes as planned, Taylor will add in a trip to the Sunshine State as well.

“Florida and FSU are big offers and I cannot wait to get down to their campuses,” Taylor said.

While the Crimson Tide got in early, their biggest competition will likely come from the in-state Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss has two offensive linemen from Callaway already on the roster in Aaron Morris and Justin Bell, as well as commitments from two of his teammates in safety Ronald Walker and wide receiver Dayall Harris.

“Ole Miss has great players and coaches and I like what they are doing along the offensive line,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s favorite football memory came in a matchup against Jackson (Miss.) Forest Hill last fall.

“I was pulling and I blindsided this kid and put him on the ground,” Taylor said. “I just love being physical and that was a moment I was able to completely dominate my opponent.”