Michael Taylor was the big recruiting news of the week. Arriving in Knoxville on an unofficial visit, he took in the Friday and Saturday practices of the Vols with his father and had the opportunity to speak with the coaches and a few of the players. Now, Taylor may currently be listed as a 'mere' 3-star in the two major recruiting sites, but his list of offers suggests he's a little more highly valued among coaches. Per Rivals, Taylor had offers from:
- SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State
- ACC: Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami, and NC State
- Others: West Virginia, Illinois, Purdue, and Stanford
There are still others, but the point is clear: this guy is a wanted man, in the good way. He sports a 4.5-40, a 1350 SAT, and a 3.5 GPA, and will enroll early to UT in January. In short, Mr. Smarty-Pants has 8 months to learn and grow into Monte's system before his eligibility clock starts in earnest.
And so, the Big Board is updated with exciting news yet again:
- Michael Taylor, as described above.
- Phillip Sims, as described below.
Removed: No one, this week.
Changes: None, this week.
Normally, I wouldn't bother putting an Alabama commit onto the board this late in the game, especially when his Rivals report sounds like the Saban had the Mafia make the irrefusable offer (recruited by Sal Sunseri and Curt Cignetti). Sims, however, is an interesting case. Jerod Askew is one of our incoming freshmen and was a high school teammate of Sims; during a conversation with Wes Rucker this weekend, Askew guaranteed that he would convince Sims to come to UT instead of Alabama.
After the last few weeks, you have to wonder if he can actually pull this off. These coaches have a way of leaving a surprisingly favorable impression on recruits: DeMarco Cobbs extended his stay a day to learn more; Matt Milton saw the light on his visit; offensive tackle Leifheit continually speaks more highly of UT and has now kicked Florida off the island, partly on account of us. Given the gap in blue-chip quarterback recruiting at UT, the influx of receiver and running back talent, and the incredibly fun and productive practices that UT has, you can't say it's not possible. Besides, if Askew picks up anything from these coaches, it'll be to believe that he can do the impossible - then go do it.
So now the total is up to 15. Up to 10 more slots are open (13 with grayshirting, or 47 with Nuttshirting, no matter what the SEC says). Not including Sims, my next wish is Leifheit. What's yours?