for us Michigan fans. Keep the good news coming. Who's next??
Highland Park's Raymon Taylor made no secret early in the process that he was a Michigan fan, but when an offer from the Wolverines never materialized, he committed to Indiana. He received a Michigan offer in December, and on his official visit this weekend, committed to the Wolverines (per fellow commit Justice Hayes), for the third commitment in the last three days.
|3*, #49 CB||4*, 5.8, #14 Ath||3*, 77, #93 Ath|
The big recruiting sites have a wide, wide range of opinion on how good a player Taylor is, and even what position he'll play. The consensus had been that he's a corner, but running back is an option as well. With Michigan's options at slot receiver, I doubt that's where he's been recruited.
Rivals and ESPN say he's 5-10, while Scout gives him the extra inch at 5-11. They're pretty much in agreement on his weight, ranging from 167 to 175, so I'd say he's right in the 170-pound ballpark. Rivals's numbers (5-10, 167) are over a year old - from last year's Army Combine - so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's grown a bit.
We'll start the evaluations with ESPN:
He is a feisty, tough prospect that we feel has the most upside to be a cornerback at the next level with experience as a return specialist as well. Is slightly undersized, but plays big. Likes to get up in the face of the DB [sic: they mean WR] and alter routes and releases. He has adequate hips, can mirror most receivers on double moves and shows good body control and balance. Can turn and run with speedy receivers. Shows burst out of his back pedal and shows very good closing quickness when driving on the ball in front of him. Has sound catch up speed and shows good acceleration when the ball is in the air. Has good leaping ability which helps compensate for his lack of ideal height, adjusts well to the ball in the air and has excellent ball skills. Is a playmaker with the ball in his hands and will get his fair share of picks and pass break-ups. Plays with a mean streak and great enthusiasm and is surprisingly effective in run support considering his size. Attacks the line when he reads run, generally wraps up when tackling and rarely misses open field tackles he should make. Has shown he will mix it up. Plays with a good motor and always seems to be around the ball. He shows a little stiffness through the hips when on offense more so that on defense. His size may limit his effectiveness to match-up versus bigger, stronger wide receivers. Taylor is a good prospect overall and his versatility provides value.
Scout gets information from the horse's mouth:
“I’m very aggressive and have great ball skills. I make plays and change games. But I want to get bigger and add more bulk and muscle.”
Despite his lack of size, he's described as a physical player with excellent ability to play the ball in the air. That could mean that bulking up a bit and playing free safety is an option.
As an Indiana decommit, he held a Hoosier offer - and in fact was one of the headliners of their class. According to Scout, he also held offers from Illinois, Pitt, and Iowa - where under-the-radar DBs become All-Americans.
An early commitment prevented him from racking up a huge offer list, but Rivals also credits him with a Wisconsin offer, in addition to Cincinnati and Toledo.
Scout lists his senior stats:
Raymon Taylor finished his senior season (4-3) with 48 tackles and five interceptions. He also played running back and wide receiver had around 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns on offense.
ESPN also has junior and senior stats:
2010: Rushed for 879 yards and 13 touchdowns. Intercepted five passes. Division IV All-State selection... 2009: Caught 50 passes for 600 yards and six touchdowns. Intercepted seven passes (two returned for touchdowns)...
Yay for Raymon.
FAKE 40 TIME
Scout is the only recruiting site listing a 40 time for Taylor, crediting him with a 4.43. Although he's known as a very athletic defensive back, that's a truly elite time. I'll give it three FAKEs out of five. He's a sprinter as well, with a 6.94 60m dash.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
It's hard to even project a position for Taylor, much less how he'll perform once he gets on the field. With Michigan's recent avalanche of defensive backs, I think there's a good chance he ends up playing safety.
Since that's the case, a redshirt is mandatory, as he's pretty slight no matter what position he'll play, and Michigan now has enough players available to have the luxury of redshirting freshmen in the defensive backfield. After his redshirt year, he'll have a couple years to work into the lineup on special teams - including as a return man, where ESPN notes he has great ability.
By the time he leaves Ann Arbor, Taylor has the athleticism to be an NFL Draft pick and an All-Big Ten player if he's developed properly.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan needs MOAR DBs apparently. As noted above, I think Taylor could end up playing safety, which is a position of need for the class.
Since the class of 2011 is unlikely to completely fill up, Taylor's commitment isn't going to put a serious crunch on remaining players available. The only focus is filling the remaining positions of need, including the defensive line, quarterback, tight end, and linebacker.
for us Michigan fans. Keep the good news coming. Who's next??
Glad to have you. Keep the good news rolling.
keep on spending those schollies.
This is a GREAT get! He has a chance to do some special things in Ann Arbor.
This class is quickly going from disaster to respectable. I predict we will be ranked in the top 25 when all is said and done.
I think the best case scenario is that we end up with 4-5 4 star guys and a number of decent 3 star guys. That's not a complete disaster, but it's not a top 25 class (and the rumblings on Countess ain't great).
I think taking commits from lower ranked guys who want to come is the right strategy given the real time value of a commit, but none of the guys we've gotten so far have been incredibly highly ranked guys.
If we manage to pull McClure and hold onto Countess, we can start talking about maybe having a top 25 class.
Yeah, we've added some nice players, but ones who'd long been hoping and waiting for an offer. I'm not sure why posters hail these commitments as triumphs indicative of Hoke's recruiting prowess. He'll succeed or fail based on the number of tough gets he lands.
I think that's a great point and puts a good perspective on it.
I would add that since there is so little time to fill out the class the coaching staff is spending it's time wisely and landing players who would commit easily early on so they know exactly what they're dealing with and what positions to focus on. I think it shows good judgment, if not necessarily recruiting prowess.
poaching kids from powerhouse football factories like Vandy and Minny won't get you anywhere near the top 25.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
I am feeling at least one more 4 star and a kicker by tonight.
I hope that your feeling is correct. But one must ask, are you basing that on anything besides what visitors we have this weekend?
Tim.. what is this "Redshirt" of which you speak? I thought that was for linemen only.
In all seriousness, keep them coming! Justice Hayes is keeping busy recruiting this weekend on the visit. He tweeted the committment a minute before Tom VH did!
Hopefully we can start redshirting more players. It was probably since we were so thin at many positions, but RR's decisions on redshirting was always confusing.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only time in MGoHistory that we've had 2 front page "Hello" posts in a row. Well done.
Now, maybe we can get an offensive player or two.
I expect Flowers and Rawls to commit to Michigan. Also, Bryant next week.
It's happened a few times, actually. Kevin Sousa and... Kellen Jones? committed on the same day in the summer as well.
He'll probably end up on D, seeing as he doesn't have dreads.
Coach Hoke is really hot on the trail. The recruiting is turning out to be much better than originally thought. GO BLUE!
to go to Michigan and poached two guys from Minnesota and Vandy. Let's wait and see what happens with Countess, McClure, Clark and Willingham first.
M poached from Minny and Vandy...Thats not something to be very excited about
Film looks good. Looks like he has a ton of upside.
Very good get for the blue! I am pumped! He looks like a stud! Can we get 1 or 2 more by weekends end????
It's a real shame that we can't recruit in state...
Oh wait, nevermind.
Welcome to The Family, Raymon. Everybody loves you.
Yeah, it is kind of interesting how all of our current solid commits are from Michigan and Ohio.
Stefan and Matt would also keep our investments in Southern California as well. LA, Orange, and San Diego counties put out some top talent, and the more players we can convince to come here, the better.
It worked for me.
Man, you can't sleep on MGoBlog and these recruiting posts. Great news to have Taylor back in the UM fold, and I'm happy that this staff is trying its best to fill holes as best as possible. I do think Mattison is going to be huge for recruiting this defense.
YES! Good news, good news, I'm liking this. For all the negatives that have happened this is pretty nice.
Finally a coaching staff that is keeping the best in-state players where they belong. Looks like a player that given some time, can be a solid DB. Plus local coaches are going to be high on pushing their players to Hoke.
Yeaaaaa....J Hayes said he was gonna help reel in some recruits. Keep it coming!!!!!
Now landing McClure would really make this a solid DB class
does he have his own brand of . . . SNAKE OIL!!! WOOOHOOO
damn, that's quite a departure from the tepid futures envisioned by anything less than a consensus 4*. May your prognostications prove to be accurate, Mr. Tim bits
Great to hear! Welcome Raymon, now start working on some other guys who are with you this weekend.
No back handed i don't like Hoke stuff in the post.
Love the pick up
Problem with his height? I don't think so. Size is the most overrated aspect for CBs. If you're a legit 5'9" that's just fine.
Although Vince Smith as a DB might not turn out so well...