Tennessee was late to land on Michael Taylor’s radar. But once it did the Volunteers’ combination of location and adoration resulted in the linebacker’s sudden decision to commit to their 2010 class.
Taylor, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound rising senior at Atlanta’s Westlake High, committed to coach Lane Kiffin while on an impromptu unofficial visit to Knoxville this weekend.
“I went up there and that was the school I felt was the most excited about me,” said Taylor, an outspoken and confident young man who often refers to himself in the third person. “It was a great fit when I went there. I saw they needed some help at linebacker and I’m just the guy they need.”
Taylor, considered a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com, said he went to about a dozen schools on unofficial visits over the past several months, including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida Atlantic, Central Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, LSU and, of course, Tennessee. He said all of them except Auburn offered a scholarship.
But the Vols simply showed more love, he said. And he clearly the liked the school’s location near downtown Knoxville.
“It’s a beautiful city,” he said. “It’s a college town but it has life. It’s not dead with cow pastures and horses all around it. It has a city; it has something I can do. It’s a great place. I’m from California. I’m not trying to go to the middle of nowhere. I’m used to the city life. So Knoxville is a great place for Michael Taylor to be.”
Be sure to check back here early Monday morning and I’ll share some interesting details Taylor told me, including his thoughts on the Tennessee coaching staff and a bizarre incident while he was on campus.