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.