Trooper gets quick results

Jan. 13: <!--Default For Tennessee is to ignore-->Tennessee hires a running backs coach with strong ties to the state of Louisiana. Jan. 19: Tennessee gets a commitment from the top running back in Louisiana.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

It appears that Trooper Taylor, hired last week to replace the departed Woody McCorvey, is already paying dividends. He no doubt was instrumental in the Vols landing Ja'Kouri Williams, a 5-10, 185-pound gamebreaker from the Bayou state.

As recruiting fans already know, Louisiana is one of the South's most fertile recruiting areas -- one that enabled Nick Saban to build a national championship team at LSU. During a five-year stint as an aide at Tulane, Taylor established a network of contacts in the state that should pay dividends for the Vols. In fact, the commitment of Williams shows Taylor's contacts already ARE paying dividends.

Moreover, Trooper has extensive contacts in talent-rich Texas, having grown up in Cuero, then playing and coaching at Baylor.

I've had two conversations with Trooper since his hiring, and I've found him to be tremendously charismatic. I can see why he's such a talented recruiter. He's genuine enough to appeal to parents. Yet, at age 33, he's youthul and energetic enough to appeal to prospects.

Based on my conversations with Trooper, I think he's a great hire. The fact he has recruiting contacts in two of the South's greatest talent hotbeds (Louisiana and Texas) is an added bonus.

A final bonus is Trooper's track record. The fact he produced four receivers at lowly Tulane good enough to play in the NFL suggests he can coach talent, as well as recruit it.

Bottom line: Trooper's a keeper.

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