Tyler Taylor was already very impressed with Georgia coming into G-Day.
The three-star inside linebacker has already acknowledged the appeal of playing for his home state. That G-Day trip — despite not offering a lot of time with the coaches — has left him convinced about the future at UGA.
“I think Georgia is going to be a special place,” Taylor said. “Just the atmosphere of that day and all the fans. They got more than Kirby’s 93k in there. I think the fans are all in tune with a new vibe and I think the players are all into that, too.”
The Lanier High School talent (Sugar Hill, Ga.) was late to G-Day and had to leave in the third quarter when a member of his family came down with an ailment. He didn’t get the face time with the coaches he would have liked.
But he already knows how the coaches in Athens feel about him.
“They are just telling me that they would really like to get me and I am a top priority but not to rush it but if I feel like it they would want me to commit right now,” Taylor said.
He’s been told by the staff that they want to add “two or three” more linebackers. That would give them five signees at the position for 2017. Taylor wasn’t bothered by that tally.
“Everywhere you go you are going to have to compete,” said Taylor, who is rated No. 11 in the nation at his position.
That said, he does want to know how the board will shape up at his target schools.
“All the coaches I talk to I ask them how many linebackers are going to sign,” Taylor said. “Most schools tell me about two or three. Most schools also tell me that every time they get a commitment at linebacker and spots start to fill up they’ll let me know as soon as they do.”
Taylor weighed 220 pounds at the end of basketball season for Lanier and has already put on another 10 pounds. His height was measured at 6-foot-3 at the Nike regional in Charlotte on Sunday.
The versatile junior would rather play inside, but has the skill set to roam outside. The feedback he’s gotten from coaches has led him to believe if he stays at his current height and gains a little weight, he’ll probably stick at inside linebacker on Saturdays.
Taylor didn’t name leaders but described a shelf with a straight line of schools on his top tier. Georgia is there. So is Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. He couldn’t identify which school was recruiting him the hardest out of that lot.
He plans to narrow those choices down during the first week of summer. Taylor will fly out with his mother to visit Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas on one swing. He also hopes to see Michigan and Michigan State, too.
When those trips have been made, he will narrow his list to five schools.
“I probably will take an official to Georgia this fall,” Taylor said. “I haven’t really thought about all of that yet. I will consider all of that during the first week of the summer. That’s when I will start thinking about officials and all of that.”
He also sounded impressed by the academic climate at UGA.
“Georgia is not an Ivy League school but then they have kids that can’t even get in with a 4.0 GPA,” Taylor said. “I know a kid who has a 4.0 in my school who couldn’t even get in. So going to play at UGA is basically going to school with scholars.”
Expect Taylor to choose one of those eight or nine schools that are on him now or that he will visit this summer. He’s good with those offers and isn’t looking for any other teams to get involved.
He plans to make his commitment during the middle of his senior season.
Taylor also plans to create some graduation options, too. He will take two classes during the summer in order to possibly graduate early in December.
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. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite