By Alex Norman
If you ever are bored at work, do yourself a favor at watch Alontae Taylor’s highlight tape. It’s spectacular.
What you see from the 4-star prospect from Coffee County Central HS is someone with breakaway speed, toughness and athleticism. He’s the real deal, and soon will make some college very happy.
Taylor played quarterback at Coffee County, and was most often the best player on the field, no matter the opponent. But his future likely lies at wide receiver or defensive back. 247Sports lists him as the 23rd best wide receiver prospect in the nation.
Taylor played in the 11th Annual Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All-Star Classic on Friday, December 8th in Clarksville. He was named the East’s Offensive Most Valuable Player.
“Playing in (Class) 6A helps,” said Taylor. “Playing in the best region in Tennessee is really fun, but coming out here and playing with the best players in Tennessee, you figure out if you are real or if you are not real so… at the end of the day I’m gonna do what I got to do.”
In his final high school football game, Taylor had three catches for 71 yards, two carries for 26 yards, and even threw a deep pass to Riverdale’s Savion Davis for a touchdown. This was on a trick play. Taylor stood a couple of yards behind the line of scrimmage as a receiver, leaped high in the air to make the catch, and then launched a pass more than 40 yards in the air. It was a play that showed off his tremendous abilities.
Taylor shared the field with future Tennessee Vols Jacob Warren, a tight end from Farragut, and Ollie Lane, an offensive lineman from Gibbs.
Taylor brings a lot to the table, and college coaches have told him where they see him fitting in.
“A lot of speed, a lot of sweeps, stuff like that,” said Taylor. “Playing slot receiver, I can do a lot of things so… I can’t say that I’m ready at the college level, so I’m glad I’m going in January, so I can get in the weight room, get in the playbook and just be a better receiver.”
Taylor has already graduated from Coffee County Central HS, and will be an early enrollee…
Taylor was a Tennessee verbal commit that de-committed on November 13th, the day after Vols head coach Butch Jones was fired. But with the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt, Taylor once again put Tennessee on his watch list.
He took to twitter and announced that on December 22nd, he would choose between three schools. Tennessee, Georgia and Louisville. “I’m a Tennessee boy you know, representing the state. I love the orange and white. I love the fan base. I have a lot of family here so them being able to come and watch me play is important.”
Taylor took an official visit to Tennessee the day after that All-Star game, and enjoyed his time in Knoxville so much that he cancelled a future official visit to Louisville.
And then on Wednesday, December 13th, Taylor decided that he couldn’t wait any longer. Once again going to twitter, and tweeting that Tennessee was the place for him, saying that he was “1000% COMMITTED,” along with a #PruittEra hashtag.
The previous week Taylor told me what was going to go into this decision.
“Just how I feel… if I feel like I am at home and really playing time, that opportunity,” said Taylor. “You never want to go into a program and be told that you are gonna play. If it is given to you, you didn’t earn it so, I’m just looking for that school that I can have a good relationship with the coaching staff and the players.”
Tennessee remains Taylor’s home sweet home.