SMU adds versatile receiver to 2013 class

SMU gets its fifth commitment of the 2013 class in versatile and speedy wide receiver out of Lufkin, JaBryce Taylor. Though he'll play receiver on the Hilltop, Taylor can play quarterback, safety and return punts and kickoffs.

JaBryce Taylor became SMU's fifth commitment of the 2013 class over the weekend.

After visiting the Hilltop a couple months ago for junior day, Taylor, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound wide receiver out of Lufkin, knew SMU was the place for him.

"As a player, when you go somewhere and it fits and feels right, you just know," said Lufkin head coach Todd Quick. "He went up there, had a good visit with [wide receivers coach Jason Phillips] and liked the way it was. He liked the classes, he liked the school itself and thought it was just a good fit for him."

Added Taylor: "I just love the school," he said. "It was just peaceful when I walked on the campus. I just felt like I was at peace and didn't have to worry about anything. And I like how much emphasis they put on your education as well as your football career."

Quick said that SMU is getting quite a player in Taylor because of his character on and off the field and of course, his talent and versatility.

"First of all, he's a good young man and takes care of his business in the classroom," Quick said. "He's very respectful to everyone he's around. He's got a great mom and dad, a great home life and they take care of their business.

"And secondly, he's a really good football player, an aggressive receiver and has good speed. But probably the most special thing he does is when the ball goes in the air, he has the ability to come down with it, whether it's a good throw or a bad throw, doesn't matter. He's really good when the ball is in the air.

"And he's an above average route runner and student of the game, so he's always learning. He's a fine young man."

Quick said that although Taylor was recruited as a receiver, he's been playing quarterback for Lufkin all through spring because the other two quarterbacks play baseball. Taylor can also return punts and kickoffs and play safety.

"He's a top of the line receiver and everything, but he also has the ability to return punts and kickoffs," Quick said. "He's fearless back there and a lot of kids can't do that, but him being able to do more than one thing makes him a definite weapon."

Quick said that he'll use Taylor at quarterback and safety in special situations this fall because of his ability to make plays almost anywhere on the field.

Taylor also has speed. He can run the 110-meter hurdles in 14.9 and the 300-meter hurdles in 41.3.

"We put a pretty big emphasis on track here," Quick said. "If you're going to run with the ball, you're going to run track."

After Taylor visited SMU for the first time, Quick recalled him coming to his office to chat about the university with his dad.

"He came and we talked about the visit, about what he got to do, and his dad had questions and everything just like any involved parent would," Quick said. "But they had already talked as a family and thought [SMU] was going to be the place he needed to be."

Lots of prospects commit to schools in the springtime, but it's still considered early and lots can happen before signing day the following February. But Quick doesn't think committing in May puts kids at an advantage or disadvantage, it just depends on the athlete.

"There's a lot of pressure on young men today to try and go ahead and get it done and then they can focus on what they need to be doing and finishing out their [high school] career and going on to the next level," Quick said. "There are advantages and disadvantages, but I think just taking care of your business and finding out what's going to work and sticking to your guns, sticking to your word, just takes a lot of pressure off of them."

At this point in the game, SMU was Taylor's only offer.

Quick also mentioned that SMU is interested in Lufkin defensive end Demontrai Lewis, who went to visit the Hilltop with Taylor. Lewis doesn't have an offer from the Mustangs—yet—but he is on their radar.

Click here to see Taylor's highlights and a breakdown from FoxSports/ National Recruiting Analyst, Greg Powers.

For more SMU coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!

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