Smitty Grider doesn’t know what he’ll do next fall without his “coach” on the field. He knows how valuable current Florida commit Jeawon Taylor has been to his program.
He knows Taylor can step into a college defense tomorrow and handle the mental reps. The head coach at Park Crossing in Montgomery, Ala., knows he’s never had a player adept enough to call the coverages for an entire junior varsity season like he did this fall.
He also feels Taylor is conflicted over his opportunity to sign with UGA or Florida.
“He is struggling with it,” Grider said. “He really seems to be struggling with it. His whole demeanor the last couple of weeks has been different. It seems like something is weighing on him.”
It might not be a coincidence that Taylor took his official visit to UGA on Jan. 15. That might sound promising to the UGA faithful, but also consider another item that was on his mind.
“I don’t know if he knows what he wants to do,” Grider said. “But I also don’t know if he’s struggling because he’s doesn’t want to give some bad news to Georgia after they’ve been recruiting him or if he is thinking about how he will say the same thing to Florida.”
He doesn’t have a prediction about what Taylor will do, but he has given him some simple advice.
“He can’t make a wrong decision here,” Grider said. “Either way, he goes will be a great decision for his future. It will be the right decision. I just want him to be happy. He deserves it.”
Why is Taylor considering UGA? Grider said that was easy.
“It is Kirby Smart,” Grider said. “He would go to Georgia so he could play for Kirby Smart.”
Does Florida have any advantage over UGA at this time?
“The only thing I think Florida has the advantage on Georgia right now is they have an official visit on the last weekend before Signing Day,” Grider said.
Grider said he’s only sure that Taylor has visited Florida one time heading into his scheduled official visit this weekend.
He said Taylor is about 6 feet, 2 inches, 190 pounds and has 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash
What kind of player will either school get?
“He has just average speed at that position but because he is so smart he plays so much faster than in a game. He really understands football.”
Taylor is rated as the nation’s No. 20 safety for the Class of 2016.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.