Tuesday, February 19, 2013
2015 CB receiving widespread interest
By Dave Hooker
One of the top 2015 prospects in Virginia just picked up his first two SEC scholarship offers.
Tennessee and Kentucky extended official invites to cornerback Garrett Taylor (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher) over the weekend. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound prospect picked up his offer from the Volunteers during Tennessee's junior day Saturday.
"I really liked it a lot," Taylor said of the visit to Knoxville. "They showed us the new facilities they had. They showed us the indoor field, the new weight room, which is really nice. They showed us the training room, the indoor pools and the underwater treadmills.
"We got to see the stadium, which seats 100,000 fans. Everything they showed us, I liked. Also, they're in the SEC, which is the best football conference in the nation right now."
Taylor has a budding relationship with Tennessee defensive backs coach Willie Martinez. The two plan to keep in touch.
"He wants to keep in contact over the phone over the next couple of weeks," Taylor said. "He wants me to call him."
Another relationship figures to be key into Taylor's recruitment: He has grown close to former Tennessee defensive back coach Derrick Ansley, whom he met at a Tennessee camp last summer. Ansley was hired by Kentucky after Tennessee's coaching change this past season.
"I have a real good relationship with him," Taylor said. "He's been my favorite coach so far. He knows what he's doing. He's really into building relationships. I like him a lot so hopefully I can learn more about Kentucky.
Taylor said he doesn't know much about Kentucky. He plans to visit Lexington for the Wildcats' spring game.
"Kentucky I really don't know that much about," Taylor said. "I am interested."
Taylor's first scholarship offer came from North Carolina. Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Maryland have all recently visited his school. Stanford requested a transcript and game video, which is now under review.
Taylor said he plans to visit Virginia Tech and Virginia for their upcoming junior days. He's also planning a visit to Ole Miss.
"Hopefully when they see that I'm 6-1, they might be interested in offering," Taylor said.
Size is certainly a factor in Taylor's recruitment. It's not too common for a sophomore cornerback to be so big and athletic.
"I feel like I'm a real physical corner, being 6-1 and 187," Taylor said. "I feel like I can challenge receivers at the line of scrimmage and have my coach let me shut off half the field and have him worry about the other side.
"I feel like I lock down a receiver. I feel like I'm a ball hawk. I like to make plays on the ball and after I get it, try to do as much as I can afterward."
Taylor's statistics for the 2012 season were minimal. That is understandable. Opposing teams learned to be wary of him when he was a freshman.
"That's what it was," said Taylor, who intercepted four passes and recorded 24 solo tackles. "After my freshman season, I had a pretty good year. My coaches and I talk about it a lot. Teams are definitely throwing away from me, throwing away from my side of the field.
"Once they do start throwing to my side, I did make plays on the ball. My coaches told me to take advantage of every time they threw my way. I try to do that as much as possible."
That's what college recruiters from coast to coast are counting on.