Corner with 4.34 speed details Rocky Top trip

Be informed on the future of Tennessee football with a subscription to InsideTennessee.com. Read about the best junior in Virginia after his Rocky Top trip.

Position-specific skills are sometimes taught. Other times, they must be recruited.

Levonta Taylor's aggressiveness and raw speed paired with his supreme confidence have him rated by Scout as the Old Dominion State's best defensive back in the Class of 2016.

"What I bring at cornerback is physicality to the game and being very humble and very fast and most importantly, my ball skills and instincts," Taylor told InsideTennessee.

Tennessee knows what supreme talent at cornerback looks like as the Volunteers have produced NFL-bound defenders like Terry Fair, Dwayne Goodrich and DeRon Jenkins. Now, Taylor is drawing the focus of the coaching staff, especially after the Ocean Lakes, Va., product camped in Knoxville earlier this week.

"They have great facilities, and they showed me around," Taylor said of Tennessee. "They showed me some of their plans for next year. They're going to NIKE and that's the brand I like. I'm pretty amped up to see how they're going to do that. And, I have a good relationship with my coaches."

The No. 4-rated cornerback prospect in the nation said that Tennessee's facilities compare favorably to others he saw previously, including Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Orange & White coaches that spent time with the Scout four-star prospect were Virginia-area recruiter Zach Azzanni, defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and head coach Butch Jones.

"Coach Martinez said he would love for me to come down here and come in as a true freshman and play for him and be an impact player for their defense because he loves physical guys like I am," Taylor said. "He said I remind him of one of the players he's coached named Tim Jennings, who plays for the Chicago Bears.

"Coach Jones, talking to him, I have a great alumni from my school that went to Tennessee in Justin Hunter. We could build a pipeline from there."

The 5-foot-10, 174-pounder clocked a hand-timed 40-yard dash of 4.34 seconds while at Tennessee's camp, which is a personal best.

As a sophomore, Taylor totaled 48 tackles, 10 pass breakups and seven interceptions. He patterns his game after Arizona Cardinals cornerback Tyrann Mathieu even though "I'm like 2-3 inches taller than him though."

Virginia's best rising junior listed a number of items he seeks from a university.

"Having a good bond with the coaches and players and feeling good around my surroundings and most importantly, a good school for me so after football I'll be straight. Another ‘most important' is playing time."

Taylor is teammates at Ocean Lakes with several DI-bound players but says it is not imperative that they attend the same university.

On Saturday, the four-plans to check out Notre Dame.


Discuss Taylor's recruitment with InsideTennessee analysts and subscribers by CLICKING HERE.


Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
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