|Richmond (VA) St. Christopher's cornerback Garrett Taylor|
(image via 247 Sports)
He's a 6'1", 188 lb. player who claims a 4.5 forty. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 24 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions; he also had 14 catches for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns. I have been unable to find stats from his junior year.
ESPN: 4-star, 82 grade, #7 CB, #73 overall, #4 in-state
Rivals: 4-star, #6 CB, #41 overall, #1 in-state
Scout: 4-star, #36 CB, #282 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 96 grade, #6 CB, #79 overall, #4 in-state
Taylor, who is friends with Michigan freshman quarterback Wilton Speight, visited Michigan last summer after Speight had already committed to the Wolverines. Despite not having an offer from the Wolverines, Taylor maintained interest. When the offer came a few weeks ago, Taylor promptly scheduled another unofficial to Ann Arbor for mid-March. He decided to commit on that trip and announced it via Twitter.
Taylor is a tall, lanky cornerback who can match up well with the bigger receivers he might face. He uses his long arms well to disrupt receivers and to rake the ball out from receivers who might be able to reel in catches against corners with a shorter wingspan. Taylor also has good leaping ability and times his jumps well, so he can be effective in the redzone and on back-shoulder throws. One of his best qualities is his hitting/tackling ability, which makes him a force off the edge and against wide receiver screens, bubble screens, etc. As a tackler I think he might be on par with the likes of Leon Hall or Ty Law, two Wolverines from yesteryear who were tough to run through.
As for negatives, Taylor has some things to work on and is not a finished product. He plays a little high, which slows down his transition time. He also crosses up his feet sometimes, so there are lots of footwork issues. Fortunately, cornerbacks are typically such good athletes that learning footwork is just something that takes time and repetition. Taylor also lacks great speed and reminds me a little bit of safety Thomas Gordon in his gait. Gordon ran a 4.49 at his recent pro day, but he wasn't the fastest safety around.
Overall, Taylor is a quality prospect whose physicality and length should make up for a slight deficiency in speed. He would project to boundary corner in a field/boundary system, although Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison went more with a left cornerback/right cornerback system in 2013. He could also play safety with his size and physicality, but I think he has the natural skills to stick at cornerback.
Taylor is the fifth commit in the class of 2015 and joins Shaun Crawford as the two committed cornerbacks. In a class that is roughly 13 strong right now, I doubt that Michigan would take another corner. The Wolverines have had pretty good success in recruiting cornerbacks lately, and there might be two open spots for the 2015 season after Raymon Taylor graduates and with Blake Countess a potential early entrant into the NFL. Of course, Garrett Taylor will also have to contend with talented young players in the form of Channing Stribling, Jourdan Lewis, and Jabrill Peppers. Michigan has had quite a bit of success in Richmond lately with 2013 running back Derrick Green and 2014 quarterback Speight, to go along with past players like David Terrell and Brandon Minor.
TTB Rating: I will not assign TTB Ratings until the 2014 class is completed. So basically, I'm waiting to see what Malik McDowell does.