Gators Land #25

The recruiting avalanche continues for the University of Florida as they have landed the 25th player for the class of 2010. Peach State superstar Michael Taylor from Atlanta (GA) Westlake High School has decided to become a Florida Gator. The 6-0 and 210-pound linebacker with 4.5 speed talked about the day he decided to become a Gator.

"On that Sunday when I was in Gainesville I met with the coaches," Michael Taylor said. "They offered me and my mom broke down in tears and that was the first time I saw her cry. They told me it was a big moment in my life, so I stood up and did the Gator chomp. Coach Meyer gave me a hug and asked me if that meant I was a Gator and I told him, 'yes sir.' They all welcomed me into the Gator family and gave me a big hug and talked about being at a crossroads in my life and I seized the moment."

Taylor ended his senior season with 144 tackles (22 of those tackles for a loss), 7.5 sacks, one safety, and 11 forced fumbles. He has a 275-pound bench and 350-pound squat. Taylor and his mom had a great feeling when they visited Gainesville.

"The people there are real people and people I will enjoy being around. How can you not fall in love with the university, and even if everybody left, I would still love to attend Florida. I love this place and I'm going to be very successful claiming collar bones here in this stadium in front of these fans. The weight room and facilities is the best I have ever seen plain and simple. I have been to at least 30 schools including Alabama, LSU and Georgia."

Taylor was a wanted man and holds offers from some of the nation's top programs, including Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Florida State and Alabama to name a few. Taylor currently has a 3.5 grade point average and scored 1350 on the SAT.

The Gators have two new linebacker coaches, and Taylor is familiar with both George Edwards and D.J. Durkin.

"They are great guys who I have a history with. Coach D.J. Durkin recruited me at Stanford and is how I was introduced to Florida. Coach Edwards knows our assistant AD from years back and the main thing is that they will give me fair shot and that's all I want."

Taylor plays the linebacker position the way it's supposed to be played. He brings speed, hard hitting and a nasty streak you love from your linebackers.

"I am a fast playing hard-nosed physical guy who always finds the football. A motivated player that will not quit and won't give up until the final buzzer goes off. Natural born leader with a knowledge for the game. Football is what I was born to do. My strengths as a person are I'm strong willed and caring. I have that on and off the field switch that you need to be a successful college football player. As a football player I love to hit and always find the ball when I get to it you're going to hear a pop."

Taylor is the 11th player selected to play in the Under Armour game a few weeks ago and like Dominique Easley and Chris Dunkley has bonded with the other Gators.

"I met all the Florida commits and me and Cody Riggs had fun knocking receivers when I was at outside and had fun with Mack Brown in the game hitting him. Dorsey is a fool and I had a good time goofing around with Solomon Patton and Easley. Joshua Shaw and I have the same mentality and demeanor and I bonded with him the best on my visit."

Taylor loved everything about Florida. The coaches, players, stadium, facilities and the school. When Taylor and his mother received the news about the Florida offer he knew right then and there.

"When they offered me my mom started crying and I knew right then and there that was the place for me. She didn't even cry when I received my first offer."

Taylor talked about what it means to be part of the Gator Nation and what the Florida faithful can expect.

"It feels great I have never felt this way about a school and fans can expect me to control the middle and run a shut down defense." Take:
Taylor is a linebacker that plays at a high speed and a high level of intensity. He has a nose for the ball and he is constantly in on plays from sideline to sideline. He plays low, he has very good tackling form, and he delivers a lot of pop when making plays. He needs to work on not letting OLs get their hands on him and dropping back into coverage. Middle LB is the ideal spot for him. - Chad Simmons Southeast Recruiting Manager.

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