Committed to Tennessee football, Alontae Taylor finds Georgia intriguing
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The budget for Friday calls for a check to see if one of the top recruits in the 2018 Tennessee class still plans to give the Bulldogs a look. That’s 4-star WR Alontae Taylor.
There is something admirable about the conviction of 4-star receiver Alontae Taylor (Coffee County Central High School/Manchester, Tenn.).
Taylor, the nation’s No. 29 wide receiver on the 247Sports composite, played with Justin Fields on that championship 7-on-7 team at Nike’s The Opening this summer. When they hooked up on at least one 45-yard bomb there, Fields found him and said they needed to continue that on Saturdays.
Fields chose Georgia. Taylor is committed to Tennessee, despite the adversity that program is facing.
Notre Dame offered him this week to play cornerback. Ohio State also offered, and it sounds as if the Buckeyes’ pursuit is shifting into high gear.
The 6-foot-1, 183-pound prospect said he believed the best academic fit for his major in Sports Management would be at Georgia. He made that comment without the slightest breath of hesitation.
That said, “Tae” is committed to Tennessee. He will remain that way until Dec. 20. At least.
He said he plans to take all of his official visits and will do so as a Tennessee commit. If Tennessee officials remove any of the coaches, Taylor said he would consider that. But as of now, he’s got a plan.
“I will take my official visits and I will have my in-home visits,” Taylor said. “When I wake up on Dec. 20, then I will have my decision.”
Taylor said he plans to enroll early. That’s why there is a sense of urgency for him.
“I’m going to stay committed,” Taylor said. “When I wake up if there are any changes after I take my official visits and my in-home visits, then I will make that decision then. But right now I am a solid Tennessee commit.”
Fields told DawgNation in late July that there were up to eight players whom he hoped to sway to play with him in college.
Is Taylor a part of the group? He did not say. Fields also told the assembly of reporters at his news conference last week that he preferred to keep those names private.
“I joked with Justin a lot at The Opening,” Taylor said. “It was like, ‘Hey, man, wherever you go to school I am going. I will de-commit. I will do anything, but that was just us joking.’ But Justin Fields is a great quarterback and when he committed to Georgia, it made me think about that a whole lot.”
Georgia is in the mix for Alontae Taylor’s final official visit
Taylor said he plans to take an official visit to Notre Dame next weekend. He also said that he has planned official visits to Louisville, Tennessee and Wake Forest.
“I have one more open,” Taylor said. “I haven’t made a decision yet, but I know Ohio State is in the race for my official visit since they just offered me.”
Taylor said he dreamed about that Ohio State offer at one time. But it also sounds as if the Bulldogs are vying for that fifth official visit.
Taylor camped at UGA this summer but hasn’t visited since.
“Georgia is also right there,” he said. “It is probably going to be Georgia, Ohio State or probably Florida or LSU.”
He made the following points in regard to Georgia.
- It was “huge” when Georgia landed Justin Fields last Friday. Fields should be seen as a plus for UGA’s chances going forward.
- Fields always mentions something about coming to Georgia now when they do speak or swap messages.
- He will make this decision based on his needs and not just on the chance to catch passes from a 5-star QB commit.
- The recruiters for the Bulldogs made it clear Georgia plans to take two receivers in 2018. That had an asterisk. If he wanted to come on board, then the program would add a third.
He said the communication level with UGA has dropped recently. The timing of that was after the Bulldogs shut out Tennessee in Neyland Stadium.
“Basically Georgia was just telling me that they are waiting for me,” Taylor said. “I was also told they were only taking two receivers in the 2018 class and they had those two receivers committed. But they said that would have room for an extra one just for me if I wanted to come to Georgia. They really wanted me to come to Georgia.”
Taylor said Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney offered him.
“Georgia is playing great,” Taylor said. “They had a really good recruiting class and they have got it all now with Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason and now Justin Fields joining them. They are going to be a really good team for the next couple of years.”
What keeps Alontae Taylor committed to Tennessee
Taylor will play with Fields in the Under Armour All-America Game. He’s been committed to play for Butch Jones at Tennessee since June 2016, and that clearly means something to him.
“I have that family feel with Tennessee and love everything that Coach Jones is doing at Tennessee regardless of all the negative talk,” he said. “I believe in Coach Jones and everything he has going on, and I believe in [wide receivers] coach [Kevin] Beard. Coach Beard and I have a really, really close, tight relationship so I feel like that is keeping me committed to Tennessee. I just can’t turn around and say that I am going to de-commit and go somewhere else.”
That’s some strong conviction there. My best guess here is that Taylor’s future only really becomes uncertain when or if something happens with Jones and the current staff.
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