"Tennessee offered me earlier and today Auburn offered me a scholarship," Taylor tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I was real surprised when Coach Chizik told me they were going to offer me.
"I also talked to Coach Rocker and he said if I come to Auburn he is going to make me a good person and a player and he says they really need defensive tackles because they are going to be losing seniors."
Taylor, who performed well at the Scout.com Showcase and the Atlanta MVP Camp this year, is expected to be one of the better junior linemen in the state of Georgia this season and he is being discovered by colleges.
"Recruiting is going pretty nice," he says. "I like it right now. I am getting a bunch of interest considering I am just going into the 11th grade. I am 16-years-old."
Physically, he could already pass for a college player at 6-4, 317 pounds. On the field he has quick feet and plays with intensity as a defensive tackle. He also plays on the offensive line, but notes that defense is his favorite.
"Our coaches do a good job of pushing us on the field and in the strength and conditioning program," he says, when asked about his playing style.
Commenting on his goals for his junior season, Taylor says having success as a team is important. "I want to stay in shape so I can help us win games," he says. "We are going to have a good team this year."
Taylor made the trip with a pair of teammates, also rising juniors, who are Division I prospects out of the Class A school located in east, central Georgia. James Deloach is a defensive end who has an early offer from Tennessee, and Lavontay Evans is a wide receiver who also plays defensive end. They made the trip to Auburn and also toured the campus and met with AU coaches including defensive coordinator Ted Roof.
Lavntay Evans (left), Jonathan Taylor (center) and James Deloach (right) are classmates and prospects to watch for the 2012 signee class.
Head coach Chuck Conley and several Jenkins County High School assistants made the trip to Auburn, too. "I like Coach Conley and all of the other coaches helping us get recognized," Taylor says, noting that the trio has taken trips to other colleges for camps and unofficial visits around the Southeast. "It helps us and it will help the team."
Jenkins County is a small Class A school and it is unusual to have three legitimate Division I prospects in the school at the same time, much less in the same class. "It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Taylor says.
The defensive tackle says he grew up following the Georgia Bulldogs, but notes when it comes to recruiting he has an open mind. "Now I like Auburn and all of the other teams (recruiting him)," he says, noting right now he is just trying to get a feel for colleges to see which ones he likes.
Commenting on Chizik's program, he says, "I learned a lot about Auburn on my visit. I learned about Bo Jackson, Tracy Rocker, the Tiger Walk, the War Eagle battle cry and other things. We took a tour of the stadium, the new locker room, the dorms and we went around campus."
All things considered, the big tackle notes the trip was an interesting one and he plans to return later this year to watch the Tigers in action on a football Saturday.