Vols Land Louisiana Lightning

After losing twice to Auburn on the gridiron in 2004, the Vols started off 2005 by beating the Tigers for the services of a talented athlete.

Tennessee added athlete Lucas ".LT." Taylor, of Lafayette, La., to its rapidly growing Class of 2005 when he pledged to become a Vol during an in-home visit on Sunday. The 5-foot-11, 171-pounder played quarterback at Carencro High School but is expected to be a wide receiver and return specialist for the Vols.

A three-year starter at signal caller, Taylor had a stellar junior season in which he rushed for 1,624 yards and 13 touchdowns while passing for 1,520 yards and 16 TDs. As a senior he ran for 1,500 yards and 15 scores and passed for 550 yards and five touchdowns. Lucas also returned a punt for 98 yards for a score and took a kickoff the distance.

Blessed with 4.42 speed, excellent quickness and superb vision, Lucas set a Louisiana state record last October when he rushed for an incredible 539 yards and six touchdowns in 35 carries during a 53-42 defeat. Lucas' remarkable rushing total is the eighth highest ever amassed in a single game by a high school player.

Taylor is also a standout in track, running the 100-meter relay in addition to competing in the triple jump and long jump. He has a career best of 46 feet in the triple jump and 21 feet in the long jump. He is also the starting shooting guard for the Golden Bears basketball team.

Taylor was offered by Mississippi, Mississippi State, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Auburn among others. He visited Knoxville for November's Notre Dame game and was at Auburn for the Georgia contest. LSU made a late run at Taylor, which included a scholarship offer, but he said it was too little, too late.

"It's too late now," Taylor told Scout.com's Sonny Shipp when asked about LSU's chances last week. "I've already made up my mind of where I want to go. I'll announce at my school sometime in January."

As a freshman, Taylor played wide receiver displaying soft hands and strong route running abilities. He was moved to quarterback as a sophomore in order to keep the ball in his hands. His size, speed and athleticism will no doubt remind Tennessee fans of former Vol Cedric Wilson who also started at quarterback in high school before going on to a successful collegiate and NFL career as a wide receiver.

Taylor, who is rated the nation's No. 29 cornerback prospect by Scout.com, is Tennessee's 15th commitment in the Class of 2005.

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