Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss how Vols commit Alontae Taylor is adjusting to wide receiver.
Tennessee secured a commitment from one of the most dynamic players in the Class of 2018 more than a year ago.
And now, Alontae Taylor is in the midst of a position change — which is exactly what the Vols want. Taylor has played quarterback throughout his high school career, but this season he will play some receiver.
While it is common for the best, most athletic player on a high school roster to play behind center, Tennessee wants Taylor to play wide receiver where he can truly utilize his speed. And the transition ramped up this summer.
Taylor practiced as a wide receiver when he attended Nike’s The Opening Final in Beaverton, Ore., in late June and early July. He worked with wide receivers in his summer camp visits with the Vols.
“Anyone can run a go ball,” Taylor said after Tennessee’s last camp in June. “I’m trying to work on routes that most guys don’t work on, like comebacks, curls, slants and digs.”
The high school football season in the Volunteer State begins this week, but Taylor showed off his new wide receiver skills last Friday in Coffee County Central High School’s football jamboree — a scrimmage against Christian Heritage.
Taylor caught a touchdown pass in the one-half scrimmage, according to Demarco Moore of the Manchester Times, his summer workings as a wide out finally showing off on the field.
Taylor also provided the play of the game, but from the quarterback position.
“Taylor weaved his way from right to left and tight-roped up the CCHS sideline for a long gain,” Moore wrote. “But instead of going out of bounds, he collided with a Christian Heritage defender, which actually kept him upright. Taylor cut back across the field and finished off what was an 80-yard go-ahead touchdown run.”
Taylor will play both quarterback and wide receiver this season, whatever will help his team win, the senior seems willing to do.
I’ll use this space periodically to keep up with how Taylor’s transition is going. Just one half into wide receiver play, though, he seems to be proving the Tennessee coaches right.
Wide receiver is the best future for Taylor.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.