Tennessee landed one of its top targets Wednesday in Alontae Taylor. The athlete from Manchester, Tenn., is one of the best prospects in the Class of 2018 from the Volunteer State. Georgia made a big push for Taylor over the past few months but it wasn’t enough. Taylor becomes coach Jeremy Pruitt’s first commitment with the Vols.
Let’s get to know Tennessee’s 12th commit in the 2018 cycle.
Jeremiah 29:11 –
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 1000% COMMITTED 🍊#PruittEra pic.twitter.com/6KW86Mm6ba
— ALONTAE TAYLOR ⚜️ (@TaeTaylor6) December 13, 2017
Skill Set: Taylor is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He played quarterback in high school because he was the best athlete on the field. He will likely use his quick first step at wide receiver for the Vols. Taylor has worked on his route running since the summer. The hard work has started to play off. Taylor had 3 catches for 71 yards in the East vs. West All-Star game last Friday. Get him in space and let him make plays with the football.
Immediate impact: Taylor could bring big-play ability to an offense in desperate need of it. The wide receiver group did little to impress last season, and Taylor could be prime for early playing time. It’s easy to imagine Taylor stepping into the slot position and breaking big plays next season. Runs on reverses could also be a feature in the new offense with Taylor on board. There isn’t much depth at wide receiver right now. Taylor could be a fixture in the offense early on. Returning punts or kickoffs could be another way to get Taylor involved next season.
Fitting into the program: Taylor is an in-state prospect who had been committed for over a year. He only opened up his recruitment after coach Butch Jones was fired. Taylor knows what the Vols have to offer. Pruitt knows what Taylor can bring to the table. Taylor was dedicated to working on becoming a better wide receiver this season for his jump to the college level. The time he put into becoming a better player will serve him well in the future. It also shows he doesn’t rest on his physical abilities.
Recruiting at the position: Taylor is the only wide receiver commit at the moment. That’ll surely change, possibly as soon as this upcoming weekend. The Vols will host Jacob Copeland on an official visit this weekend. Copeland didn’t have much interest in the Vols before Pruitt’s hire. He and Pruitt had a relationship while Pruitt coached at Alabama and the interest carried over to Rocky Top. Pruitt is trying to swing big with Copeland who is one of the best 10 wide receivers in the class. The Vols will likely take on two or three more players at the position along with Taylor.