Michael Taylor expected one of the in-state schools to be the first to extend a scholarship offer and that happened in February when Mark Richt and Georgia stepped up to the plate on Taylor’s 17th birthday – Feb. 11.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State were the next to toss their names into the hat over the next few weeks, and exactly one month to the date that he received his initial overture, Taylor landed offer No. 4 from Toledo.
Then two weeks later, the nation’s 15th ranked middle linebacker prospect received his fifth scholarship offer.
“That was from LSU,” he said. “It seemed like everything was going good then it really took off.”
Recruiting has definitely taken off for Taylor as he’s now assembled an offer list that includes several heavyweights to go with the ones mentioned earlier including Miami, Virginia Tech, Stanford and Tennessee.
Taylor, who collected 160 tackles with 25 for loss, and six sacks along with forcing eight fumbles during his junior season, reportedly said that Georgia, LSU, and Georgia Tech made up his Top 3 in an interview with InsideTennessee.com. However, he insists that he isn’t ready to eliminate anyone just yet.
“I haven’t started cutting my list yet,” he said. “I’m getting close to cutting it down, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve been telling everyone that asks that I’m still open to listening to what they have to say.”
Battling the two in-state powers is always an uphill battle for opposing schools and while Georgia is the team to beat, Taylor says the Tigers are squarely in the mix for his services.
“I’m definitely interested in LSU,” he said. “Les Miles is a great coach and so is the rest of their staff. I’ve heard their campus is beautiful and they have great academics. And I know they can compete for national championships. They are in a battle with Florida right now to see which team will be the first to get three of them.”
Taylor says he got his offer from LSU in the mail shortly after he received it verbally, and last week he got some clarification on what that offer means when an LSU coach stopped by his school, along with another conversation by phone.
“Coach Porter and Coach Cooper told my coach that they are looking for smaller, faster linebackers now,” said Taylor, who measured in at 6-feet, 192 pounds and was clocked at a 4.55 in the 40-yard dash at the Scout.com Combine in Atlanta.
“They said they would put a little weight on me and let me fly around and make things happen. They told him they want me to start off at middle linebacker, but they feel like I could play all three positions. I like middle the best because I just let my instincts take over.”
Taylor is familiar with several aspects of the LSU program, and he is looking forward to learning more when he visits over the summer.
“I’ve watched LSU play on TV a few times the last few years,” he said. “The one I really remember is the national championship game when they ran Ohio State out of the dome. They have a great defense that flies around. And now with Coach Chavis coming over from Tennessee I know they will have great linebackers because he’s put a few guys in the league like Jerrod Mayo a few years ago.
“The coaches set something up for me to visit with my coaches when they were here last week,” Taylor continued. “I don’t know the details yet but it will probably be for a few days over the summer. I want to get down there so I can learn more about the depth chart and see more of the traditions at LSU.”