"We are really, really proud of him."

Alphonse Taylor, rated a four-star offensive tackle from Mobile-Davidson, Ala., flipped his commitment from Florida State to Alabama in December. He talked of 'Why Alabama' along with his head coach who talked in-depth of the future defensive lineman in Tuscaloosa. Taylor was an early enrollee in January at the Capstone.

Alphonse Taylor
Scout.com Rating: Four-star
Scout.com Rank: No. 31 Offensive Tackle
Size: 6-foot-6, 340-pounds
School: Mobile, Ala. (Davidson)
Projected Position: Defensive/Offensive Tackle

Stats: Taylor started on the offensive and defensive line as a senior. He graded 92-percent on offense. He had 16 tackles, five solo, and three pass break-ups in his sparse defensive play.

Commit Date: 12/23/2011
Recruiting Competition: Florida State, LSU

Strengths/Improvements: "I am the type of leader that gets the job done. However I need to lead is what I try to do. I am trying to lose weight. Losing weight comes with quicker feet. Quicker feet results in a better player. So losing weight is the main thing I am trying to work on."

Why Alabama: "After carefully considering the amazing opportunities in front of me, I am committing to play football for the University of Alabama and enroll in January," Taylor issued in a press release. "I appreciate the support of my family, friends, teachers, and coaches who have always helped and supported me.

"While there were many factors to my decision, ultimately I want to play nose guard for Alabama whose fierce and dedicated defenses are a tradition in this state and around the nation. At the end of the day Alabama is the best place for me. That's where I felt will give me the best opportunity for success in the long run. The Alabama coaching staff wants me to come in and play nose guard. The coaches are a great group of guys who are in position to help players develop."

Coach Quotes: "Obviously being 6-6, 360 and being athletic helps you a great deal," said Davidson head coach Fred Riley. "He's a kid that ran on his toes. He literally skips over the field. He was an athlete. Besides that, he has just a great attitude. He has a smile on his face all the time.

"He enjoys playing football. As much as a kid can he enjoyed practice. He just enjoyed every part of being a student-athlete. Graduating in three and a half years he was just a role model for what a student-athlete ought to be especially a heavily recruited one. He just handled the stuff so well the whole time he was here.

"He wasn't when he started out [a vocal leader]. He had that typical big-kid syndrome. I get enough attention as it is for being big. I'm not going to draw any more attention to myself, but as it went on and as he recognized the importance of doing more than just leading by example. He assumed that role. < BR>
"He was chosen a captain for the Alabama Mississippi All-Star Game by his teammates. Just in that week that is the kind of impression that he made on that all-star team and that wasn't surprising at all.

"He is going to play nose tackle up there, and he enjoys playing defense. Obviously you are not going to go to a better place than Alabama in terms of a program that will develop you and prepare you, etc.

"Obviously everyone has someone in their family that has been an influence in his life. He has mom, step-dad, sister and a brother-in-law involved in his life, but I would really say equally, his position coach Chris Denney. There's been a lot of really, really good people that have, with no ulterior motives, invested in his life. We are really, really proud of him."

Andrew Bone says: "Taylor is mammoth prospect who has good footwork and agility. He is athletic for his size. He can play nose guard or develop into a great lineman on the offensive side of the ball. Taylor enrolled early at Alabama to get a jumpstart on his college career. It's a huge benefit for Taylor. Taylor has great skills. He is a rare prospect who is a monster on the field, but can also move. He can become a force in the middle for the Tide or an elite offensive lineman."

Rebecca Johnston contributed to this report.

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