Print and Go Back On The Trail: Southeast Region [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
ESPN 150 OG Taylor talks Bama camp

By Greg Ostendorf

JACKSON, Miss. -- ESPN 150 offensive lineman Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Calloway) has been camping at Alabama for years. He made a name for himself in Tuscaloosa when he was a freshman. Over the weekend, it didn’t matter that he was the nation’s No. 2 guard. He still went out and competed at the Crimson Tide’s OL/DL camp.

“It was good,” he said. “There was some good competition up there. It wasn’t like a normal camp. It was players who really can play.”

It was Taylor’s first time back on Alabama’s campus since last fall, and a lot had changed between then and now.

“It felt good,” he said. “It was different up there with the new weight room. That was incredible. It was crazy. It didn’t look like no weight room. There was so much space. They’re building a lot of new stuff, but I enjoyed myself over there.”

At the camp, Taylor worked with new UA offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. He had already met Cristobal in the spring, but last weekend was the first time he had an opportunity to learn from the Tide’s new coach.

“He’s cool,” Taylor said. “I like him because he does more explaining and teaching. I’m a visual learner. I just like him because he likes to spend more time with you.”

Taylor also sat down with Alabama head coach Nick Saban before he left town.

“He was just telling me how interested he was in me, how good of a player I am,” the ESPN 150 star said. “He was talking about the academics, how they got the best academics.”

Taylor camped at Ole Miss earlier in the month. He was supposed to visit Florida State with his teammate Breeland Speaks but couldn’t make the trip. He says he’s also hearing from Georgia, Mississippi State and UCLA.

Speaks joined Taylor at the Alabama camp where he was hoping to earn an offer.

“I feel like I did alright,” he said. “I know there’s some stuff I need to work on. I wanted the offer. I don’t know if it’s going to come, but I’ll live another day.”

The 6-foot-3, 281-pound defensive lineman has recently added offers from Arkansas and Florida State.