Sam Webb: Reflect on the year. How did things go for you on the football field this past season?
Garrett Taylor: “I thought I had a good season. It did start off kind of slow. I got kind of a funk because I got frustrated when teams weren’t really throwing my way. My coach kept telling me and my DB coach kept trying to tell me that was a good thing, but I didn’t really listen I guess. But then once teams did start throwing my way I started making plays on the ball and making interceptions, so I kind of got out of that spot about midway through the season. I just just kept producing and had a little better second half of the season.”
Sam Webb: Do you remember off the top of your head what your stats were last season?
Garrett Taylor: “Either 23 or 24 solo tackles, and four interceptions.”
Sam Webb: Tell me about your game. First, size-wise, what are your height, your weight, and your 40 time at this point? Then tell what people should expect to see when they come out to watch you play.
Garrett Taylor: “I’m 6-1, 187-lbs, and I haven’t officially been clocked in a 40 yet, but I will be at the camps in the spring, so I’ll have a time by then. They’ll see someone who can challenge receivers at the line, play man, and lock down half the field. They’ll probably see I can come up and make plays on the run. I’m a very good open field tackler, can tackle any running back or any receiver in the open field. Then with my hips and my ball skills I’m really good with the ball in the air. I consider myself a ball-hawk… just whenever the ball is there I think it’s mine. They’ll also see a competitor who goes hard every play, and doesn’t stop until the end of the game.”
Sam Webb: Is there a player in college or the pros that you’ve heard yourself compared to?
Garrett Taylor: “I’ve had people say I play like Darrelle Revis, just for the fact that I like to press receivers on the line of scrimmage and I can lock down receivers one on one. That’s also who I study. I look at his game tape on YouTube and just what he does in terms of how he plays receiver, so people compare me to him sometimes.”
Sam Webb: Let’s talk a little recruiting now. I know you just picked up a Tennessee offer recently. Off the top of your head kind of lay out the others that you have on the table thus far?
Sam Webb: I know Michigan made it by your school. What has the interaction been like with them since then?
Garrett Taylor: “It’d been pretty good. I’d been trying to stay in contact with Coach Montgomery, who was down here with Brady Hoke. I tried to call him at least once every week so hopefully I can get on campus sometime in the spring or summer for camp. I was calling him for a couple weeks and he wasn’t answering his phone. I hadn’t been able to reach him... probably because he went to Oklahoma.”
Sam Webb: Have you talked to your new area recruiter yet?
Garrett Taylor: “No, I haven’t been able to speak with them yet, but I hope to soon.”
Sam Webb: Just from afar, what do you know, if anything, about Michigan at this point? Are you very familiar with the school or the program at all?
Garrett Taylor: “I’ve seen them play a lot. I watched the Notre Dame/Michigan night game this past year, or two years ago. I know they played Alabama in the season opener, and I love Michigan as a school just because of all the tradition they have, with the wings on the helmet, they put on the Big House, which I’m pretty sure is the biggest college football stadium in the nation right now. And it’s in a good conference, too. The Big Ten, one of the best conferences in the nation, if not the best, because they play against Ohio State, Michigan State. They play against really good competition. So as of now I know a lot about Michigan.”
Sam Webb: You clearly are a young man that knows a lot about the Michigan already. If you had a list of things you want to find out about the Wolverines, what would that list be comprised of?
Garrett Taylor: “I kind of want to know the coaching staff a little bit more. I know about Coach Hoke, but of course Coach Montgomery’s gone. So the only Michigan coaching staff I know is Coach Brady Hoke, which is obviously very important, him being the head coach. But I want to meet the DB coach, see what he’s like, see if I like him, see what he does in terms of scheme, and what he does with his DBs and stuff. And then just kind of how they run things at Michigan on a day to day basis.”
Garrett Taylor: “I know Wilton Speight just because he goes to (Richmond) Collegiate, so I know him. We’ve talked a couple times. He’s a good guy, and I like him a lot. I’m happy he got an opportunity to go to Michigan and committed there.”
Sam Webb: You guys played Collegiate, right?
Garrett Taylor: “Yeah, it was kind of funny because it was our last regular season game, and usually quarterbacks don’t really test me that often, especially early in the game. It was the opening series, we were on defense, and his first pass, it was third and five, and it was a 15-yard out route. He threw it to the guy I was playing man on, and I jumped it and picked it off. He stayed away from me a little bit that game (laughter).”
Sam Webb: When you get ready to make your college decision, what are going to be the big factors in that choice?
Garrett Taylor: “My parents and I have talked about this. My first thing is definitely academics, make sure they have the degree I want to have by the time I graduate. As far as football goes, the main thing I’m concerned about is if my parents are comfortable with the school, and comfortable with the coaching staff. I want them to be comfortable with me having someone else in charge of me when they’re gone. I just want them to be comfortable with the coaching staff and other players there. Lastly, I guess, just the football facilities themselves, like their weight room, what they do in terms of nutrition and health, and then fan support, the stadium, and that sort of stuff. That’s what I’ll kind of look for when I visit schools.”
Sam Webb: What about distance from home? Is that going to be a big factor for you, how far away from home the school is?
Garrett Taylor: “Not as long as my parents are comfortable with the coaching staff, I guess as long as they’re comfortable with the coaching staff, and I’m comfortable being there with the coaching staff, I don’t think distance from home should be an issue.”
Sam Webb: Have you talked to your family about a decision timeline?
Garrett Taylor: “I don’t know. I think we’re sitting down with my coach in a few weeks to try to get all that together, but as of now, I don’t know when my decision time would be.”
Sam Webb: You have so many schools looking at you. Have you already started to put together a pecking order, or a top list?
Garrett Taylor: “I haven’t done that yet, but we’re really looking at the big power conferences, so like SEC, Big Ten, looking at those schools. Maybe PAC 12, I don’t know if it’s a stretch go all the way out to the West Coast, but we’re trying to pick the big conferences and consider those schools. Once we have the schools from those conferences, then we’ll start trying to decide based on depth chart, like DBs, who they’ll have when I’m there as a freshman… stuff like that.”