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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jayhawks land commitment from former Florida tight end Kent Taylor

Taylor was top-ranked TE in Class of 2012

Kent Taylor looks to run for extra yardage during a Florida football spring scrimmage on Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Gainesville, Fla.

Kent Taylor looks to run for extra yardage during a Florida football spring scrimmage on Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Gainesville, Fla.

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Associated Press

Kent Taylor looks to run for extra yardage during a Florida football spring scrimmage on Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Gainesville, Fla.

For the third offseason in a row, Kansas University’s football program has landed a commitment from a high-profile transfer.

Former Florida player Kent Taylor, the No. 1-ranked tight end in the Class of 2012, told Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com on Tuesday that he was transferring to Kansas.

Shortly after the news broke, Taylor’s Twitter feed (@kenttaylor18) was flooded with congratulatory messages, and Taylor made it clear that he was thrilled about his decision.

He wrote: “Couldn’t be more excited about my opportunity to go play football for the University of Kansas! #rockchalkjayhawk”

Taylor, a 6-foot-5, 223-pound athlete known for his dynamic pass-catching ability, played in six games in 2012 with Florida — including a touchdown catch in the Sugar Bowl against Louisville — but did not play in 2013 and elected to transfer at the end of the season. He is expected to sit out the 2014 season due to transfer rules but will be able to go through spring football in a few months and will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2015.

Taylor joins quarterback Dayne Crist (Notre Dame), quarterback Jake Heaps (BYU), wide receiver Justin McCay (Oklahoma) and defensive end Chris Martin (Florida) former highly ranked prospects to transfer from big-time football schools to play for coach Charlie Weis at Kansas.

A consensus four-star recruit out of Land O’Lakes High in Florida, Taylor was ranked as the 10th-best player in the state of Florida and 54th-best prospect nationally as a senior by Rivals.com.

In 2012, at the Army All-American game, Rivals.com pegged Taylor as the third-best prospect on the East roster.

He chose Florida over offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oregon and picked Kansas as his latest destination because of his connection to Weis.

“I think as a tight end playing for Coach Weis there is no one better to play for,” Taylor told Kirby. “I think I have to take that opportunity. When he found out I was leaving and we figured out all of the grades and how to make it work I was really excited.”

Taylor, who said he was contacted by several schools upon hearing that he planned to transfer, has not yet visited KU’s campus but plans to make a trip to Lawrence on Jan. 17.

“I’m going to take my visit and then I’m planning on just staying there,” Taylor told Kirby.

Taylor becomes the 14th player in the current class to commit to Kansas. Three of those players have signed already. Weis said recently that KU could take as many as 26 players in the current class. The mid-year signing period runs through Jan. 15, and national signing day for the rest of the class is Feb. 5.

Comments

Erich Hartmann 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Will "Taylor and his Twitter acct" ever be a good thing at Kansas? Hope this kid produces like he is expected to. The last Taylor we had took us all the way to the NatlChamp game...

0

Joe Ross 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Im also glad to hear of recruiting updates. But I will reserve personal judgment (including hope of any kind) on the kid until I see him play.

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Tom Brenton 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I think this is great news. We need all the help we can get from a reliable pair of hands that can also block. U of F is a good school, and I think Coach Weis still has a lot he can do with this team.

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Mark Lindrud 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Id say we need another juco ol, dl and wr. The rest from hs so we can get alot of youth to develop. Even though I wouldn't mind two or three transfers like this guy.

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Andy Tweedy 3 months, 3 weeks ago

It sounds like this dude is a FL native. If he comes to Lawrence in January and stays, he's clearly committed!!!

3

Chris Ramsey 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm hoping a few of his teammates follow him to ku also. I believe several young o-lineman also plan to leave Florida.

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Mark Lindrud 3 months, 3 weeks ago

We brought in talent, and last I checked we need another tight end.

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Eric Dawson 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt, unless someone below has changed his mind, I count 15 recruits so far with TE Taylor.

SIGNED Ronnie Davis DB Keyon Haughton OL Anthony Smithson DB

COMMITTED/NOT SIGNED Matthew Boateng DB Jacob Bragg OL Joe Dineen DB Bobby Hartzog WR Damani Mosby DE Tyler Patrick WR Austin Stevens DE Kent Taylor TE Apa Visinia OL Kyron Watson LB Devon Williams OL Traevohn Wrench RB

BREAKDOWN BY POSITION AND SOURCE 15 Scholarship Players (HS: 9; JC: 5; T: 1)

OL - 4 (HS: 2; JC: 2) TE - 1 (T: 1) RB - 1 (HS: 1) WR - 2 (HS:2) DL - 2 (HS:1; JC:1) LB - 1 (HS: 1) DB - 4 (HS: 2; JC: 2)

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W Keith Swinehart II 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Excuse the earlier, slightly snippy post. I really do look forward to football recruiting announcements. Of course, I hope they are highly rated prospects who saw the light and chose KU. Despite my high hopes I realize that you never know until you find out. Things I really set my sights are progress, adjustments, scholarship and effort. I enjoy getting to know the student players and coaches. I appreciate all the information the journal staff put out. I appreciate the comments, criticisms and even the rants of those who post comments.

Merry Christmas to you all.

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Brett McCabe 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The staff wants him so there must be something there. Muschamp hasn't exactly proven himself to be a motivating or successful coach. Welcome, Kent, to Jayhawkville!

Now, for my yearly rant.....correct me if I'm wrong but did Steve Sarkesian have to sit out a year? How about Chris Peterson or Craig Bohl? No? You mean, they got to leave their programs, all of the kids they recruited, all of the kids they made promises to without any sort of delayed gratification?

Why, then, is it not okay for students to transfer without being punished? Hypocritical much?

And please don't tell me how disruptive a more equitable transfer rule would be. Everyone would adjust and, more importantly, it would improve programs, create more parity and would actually force programs and universities to be more responsive to the student athlete.

To make it fair to the schools, require that the transfer be outside of the conference and give each school a one-team arch-rival exemption outside of the conference (Missouri, for example).

If the kids' grades are in good shape, there is no reason to not allow them to transfer at least once in their careers.

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Aaron Paisley 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I would caution people that are going to set high expectations on Taylor because he was a top rated player coming out of high school. Florida didn't have a head coaching or offensive coordinator change this season so why is he leaving? Florida doesn't think enough of either A) his talent or B) his character, or both, to want to keep him around. Because of his ranking, people obviously think that there is a lot of potential with Taylor and a change of scenery could be what he needed to live up to that potential, but I wouldn't expect that to happen and he may very well end up being just another player.

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Danny Hernandez 3 months, 3 weeks ago

As long as he can hold on to balls that hit his hands, I'm all for it

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Andy Hess 3 months, 3 weeks ago

i don't understand why a guy who didn't play in 2013 would have to sit out at all. it seems to me that he's already sat out a year.

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Dillon Davis 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Haha the old "former top recruit at his position" trick by Weis. Fool me once but I'll be damned if I'll be fooled twice. Hope he proves me wrong.

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