Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Garrett Taylor, Wolverine

Richmond (VA) St. Christopher's cornerback Garrett Taylor
(image via 247 Sports)
Richmond (VA) St. Christopher's cornerback Garrett Taylor committed to Michigan on Monday afternoon. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Penn State, South Carolina, South Florida, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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.

RATINGS
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.


28 comments:

  1. Pros:
    Athleticism is good
    Instincts are great
    Effort is great - even in his limited highlights there were plays he ran players down from the other side of the field, taking great angles to do so.
    Cons:
    He doesn't have the softest hands
    Didn't see much in terms of a backpedal in his limited highlights. Turns his hips early and will make up for it with his athleticism which wont work in college.

    Overall I think he's going to be a great cornerback. TTB rating of 83 or 84 if he's receptive to coaching, because he has all the tools there.

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  2. C'mon McDowell! Commit already! We want to see the TTB ratings!

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  3. Does this take Fitzpatrick out of play? Was he even a realistic "get" for Michigan?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think this means Fitzpatrick will be out of the class. I do think Michigan had a realistic shot, but he's also very interested in some other high profile programs like OSU, Alabama, and South Carolina.

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    2. Fitzpatrick is that "best available" kind of recruit. If he wants to commit, there will be a spot for him.

      Roster will allow 12 right now. With attrition, early departures, Non-renewed 5th years, I see 4-7 spots opening up before next year.

      Still going to be a small class with 16-19 spots, but I believe they would take Fitzpatrick if he wanted to come.

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    3. Crawford, Kinnel, and Taylor all have the potential to play safety.

      If Fitzpatrick wanted to come, he might be starting opposite of Peppers his freshman year.

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  4. Yah!...no more mini Cass Tech corners! I see Taylor growing into a 200 lb tackling machine!

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  5. I feel like Hoke's best recruiting skill (in his full classes, not that first one) has been getting guys who stay in the program (not head cases, not washouts due to physical inadequacies). But, the downside is the classes are getting really small. Anyone care to guess if there will be some playing time transfers when the spring and August camps show some guys in 3rd or 4th string?

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    Replies
    1. It's not a downside to have small classes. That means you have more guys in their fourth or fifth years, which is positive. Having small recruiting classes is only a negative for recruiting sites (and for sites like this one here) because there's less to write about. When Rich Rodriguez was pulling in 27 guys in the 2010 class, there was all kinds of writing fodder. There will almost certainly be some transfers/departures within the next six months or so, but that's always the case.

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  6. You think Kinnel is a safety?

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    1. That's what he was recruited to play, yeah.

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    2. I could have sworn that I have seen video with Kinnel lined up exclusively at the corner. His Jr. Hudl vid has him mostly on the Strong side.

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    3. Because I have way too much time on my hands, and it was really working on me thinking that I'd seen Kinnel at Corner and missing that he was recruited as a Safety, I just spent my evening looking at all of our 2015 DBs video. Hudl does have Kinnel video lining up at corner as a Freshman where he was impressive both against the run and in coverage. He played Safety for the last two years.

      It looks to me like we picked up three outstanding DBs regardless of position. Scout has Crawford, Kinnel and Taylor at 10,17 and 36 Cornerbacks. I'm in agreement with everyone else that they are missing way low on Taylor.

      Were it me, Kinnel would be my big corner for this class, and Taylor would be my Strong Safety. Just sayin'.

      I also think that you have to give Hoke credit for restocking this football team.


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  7. Three things.
    1. Finally we have a commit to talk about. Thank you and welcome to Michigan Garrett Taylor.
    2. Sam Webb tweeted Taylor does not spell the end to UM recruitment of DBs.
    3. My god McDowell still has not committed or at least his mother still has not given in.

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    Replies
    1. 2. I think the coaches will still be looking for another safety.

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    2. Do you think they are looking for someone who will exclusively play safety or do you think the coaches would take an elite, bigger corner and see if either of the comers could play safety down the road?

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    3. As of right now, I think the coaches will be looking for another safety.

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  8. @ Anonymous 10:29 a.m.

    Shaun Crawford has an ability to play safety in the sense that anyone who's not a linebacker or defensive lineman has a chance to play safety. No matter who commits to Michigan, fans want to say "He can play either corner or safety." The fact is that Crawford does not fit the profile of someone that Michigan has a) played at safety or b) recruited at safety.

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    1. I imagine if he was too end up at safety, he would be in the Bob Sanders mold.

      Question: what is your take on the boundary/field corners vs right/left? What do you think is better and what are pros/cons to both?

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    2. Corner VS Safety
      When I look at corner and safety, to put it bluntly, corner takes more athleticism and safety takes more knowledge of the game. Safeties should be a tiny bit bigger, and corners should be a tiny bit faster. I understand Crawford is 5'9", 170 lbs, but after watching his tape, his skill set looks like he could play safety.

      "Anyone who isn't a linebacker or defensive lineman." I understand you're a bold guy, but c'mon man. I haven't watched his tape since he committed, but if I remember correctly I didn't see him play much, if any man coverage in high school. He's a sure tackler, great in run support playing much bigger than he is, has good instincts, and is good in zone coverage. That, to me, says he fits the profile of someone that a) can play safety at Michigan.

      I understand he wasn't recruited at safety, but there are guys they bring in and try at corner first and if that isn't a good fit they try them at safety. Delano Hill and Channing Stribling are good examples of these types of players. Brandon Watson wasn't recruited to play safety. Coaches told Watson he was going to be a corner on the opposite side of Peppers. So looking at that, it doesn't seem like a problem he wasn't b) recruited to play safety.

      I understand Crawford doesn't have the prototypical size to play safety, and in my opinion he would be the last to move back to safety out of the 2015 DBs. I'm just saying he has the ability to play there.

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    3. "I'm just saying he has the ability to play there."

      Yes. And what I'm saying is that virtually every defensive back we've recruited has had the same thing said about him, except maybe Terry Richardson. Stribling, Dawson, Peppers, Taylor, etc.

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    4. Haven't said it about Terry Richardson. At this point in his career, I don't think he's going to play anywhere.

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    5. Browsing through some of the commitment posts, it would seem you have also said Crawford could play safety, and Stribling could move to safety as well.

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    6. Yes. I'm not saying it's untrue. I'm saying that given the other players in Michigan's stable of defensive backs, it's highly unlikely that Crawford will be a safety at Michigan.

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  9. I struggle with all the hope over Malik McDowell who clearly doesn't want to be here. The most likely outcome as I see it is that he shows up at MSU for the first day of school, somehow having miraculously found the money he needs to enroll, and is awarded a scholarship the following day as per NCAA rules. End of story.

    i like the kid as a football player, but can't see the utility in having a kid in the program who clearly wants to go elsewhere.

    And while I also wonder some about a kid who transfers high schools as a Senior, I feel bad for both the kid and his mom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not the way it works. He'll be on scholarship at MSU this fall if they have an open spot on the roster for him, which they will. It's just it isn't guaranteed if it isn't in writing at this point, and that's why we have national signing day.

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    2. McDowell doesn't have a very mature filter. I understand he's just a kid, but if you've seen how he acts in person, or even seen some of the things he posts on social media, it's shocking to say the least.

      I hope he has a great career at MSU and goes 0-4 against Michigan.

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