|Highland Park defensive back Raymon Taylor
Raymon Taylor, a 5'10", 170 lb. defensive back from Highland Park, MI, committed to the Wolverines on Saturday. He had been committed to Indiana for a couple months, but when Hoosiers coach Bill Lynch was fired at the conclusion of the 2010 season, Taylor began to rethink his commitment. Taylor had always been a Michigan fan, but he did not receive an offer from the Wolverines until nearly the end of the Rich Rodriguez regime.
Taylor is a 4-star recruit to Rivals and a 3-star to both Scout and ESPN. Rivals and ESPN rank him as an "athlete" and Scout thinks he's the 49th best cornerback in the country. In addition to Indiana, he had also been offered by Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Toledo, and Wisconsin.
It's unclear what position Taylor will play at the next level. He reminds me of outgoing senior cornerback James Rogers. Rogers was a standout receiver/running back with great speed in high school, but he wasn't all that sudden of a player. Much like Rogers, Taylor doesn't exactly make quick cuts but catches the ball well and can run away from opponents. One thing Taylor has on Rogers, though, is that he's a little more physical.
Some analysts think Taylor is destined for safety, but I'm not a big fan of playing small-ish cornerback types at free safety. Receivers ought to be terrified of going across the middle, and while Taylor is an adequate tackler, he's not going to scare opposing wide receivers. Due to his lack of size, I expect Taylor to play cornerback at Michigan. That might also allow some current Michigan cornerbacks who lack a little bit of speed (J.T. Floyd, Cullen Christian) to move to free safety. Neither Floyd or Christian is a great hitter, but each might benefit from a change of position.
Michigan is still recruiting 4-star defensive backs Stefan McClure and Floyd Raven, but those are highly rated recruits with many options. I think the Wolverines coaching staff would accept a commitment from either one, but I don't expect that Brady Hoke will pursue any new leads on cornerbacks. Unless one of those two players wants to commit, defensive back recruiting should be finished for 2011.
TTB Rating: 67