Vols Offer Taylor Made QB

With the signing of Brent Vinson and Duke Crews the city of Hampton, Va., is happy hunting ground for the Vols who would be ecstatic to secure the services of speedy signal caller Tyrod Taylor.

A game breaker with a big-league arm, the 6-foot-2, 196-pound Taylor led Hampton High School to the Group AAA Division 5 State Championship as a junior. The dual-threat operator threw for 1,544 yards and nine touchdowns, and rushed for 1,044 yards and 21 TDs.

Think Brent Schaeffer with a higher caliber gun and no off-field baggage and you get a pretty good picture of Taylor's prime-time skills. He is regarded as one of the top combo QBs in the Class of 2007, and his recent showing at the Scout.com All-American Combine in Durham, N.C., confirms his four-star rating. The following is an evaluation of Taylor by Scout.com analyst Miller Safrit.

"Tyrod Taylor came into the combine a little cold having not picked up a ball since last fall, but once the rust quickly came off he showed what makes him one of the top players on film. Taylor has a release that some would work on, but with his unequaled quick release and the velocity he gets with the ball it should not be touched. It was obvious that he wanted to show his arm, and there were a couple of wide receivers that came back shaking their hands not being used to catching a ball with that velocity."

In addition to bringing the heat, Taylor can escape it. He feels pressure in the pocket very well and is ever vigilant for daylight to dash through. His ability to beat a defense with his arm and legs takes away from the aggressive schemes so common to SEC warfare.

Taylor's interest in UT isn't presently as intense as it is for Virginia Tech and a couple of other programs, but that could change depending on what develops at the position next fall. Certainly the advantage of having a QB with 4.5 speed isn't lost upon Phillip Fulmer or David Cutliffe. Besides, Taylor insist all of his favorites are even. He already has offers from the perennial powers such as: Penn State, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Florida and Tennessee, while other schools like USC, Notre Dame and Texas continue to show strong interest.

As the offers pile up Taylor is working hard to improve his technique, strength and size.

"I'm still working on my footwork and trying to get bigger," Taylor told Spencer Cagle of VTInsider. "I'm trying to get to 205 [pounds.] I'm at 196."

It remains to be seen if Tennessee is truly a player for Taylor, but it's a cinch Taylor is a player a lot of teams would love to have, and hate to face.


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