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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

Dillon Davis 11 months 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.

W Keith Swinehart II 11 months ago

Rankings are made up by the media and sports gurus. It's all we, and coaches have to go on. No guarantees, period. If you have better ideas tell us.

Jeremy Bolinger 11 months ago

Rankings are made up by an objective group of guys who watch various camps, 7 on 7 tournaments, and evaluate film. There is also plenty of politicking that goes into it as well.

I hope coaches aren't using the recruiting rankings as their tool for offering. They should be evaluating prospects based on need, fit, and availability.

FTR, I doubt this kid does much of anything here. I'm starting to wonder if Charlie has dirt on these dudes or something, because why else would they be coming here?

Dirk Medema 11 months ago

Was Dayne or Jake #1.

Interestingly, I'm recalling reading that there were 47 dropped passes this year. If 30 of those passes were caught (about 60%), it would have resulted in about a 60% completion rate for Jake vs. 49%. Guessing that very thing would have seemed much better if that were the case.

Terry N Tom Denner 11 months ago

Are you actually a KU fan or are you some MU fan busting his chops on KU ?? Just asking !

Andy Hess 11 months 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.

Matt Tait 11 months ago

Trying to get it all squared away. It's always tricky and often different with each situation. Transfer rules are pretty cut and dry though and even though he did "sit out" 2013 he didn't do it because he had transferred. Will update as soon as I can find out the full scoop.

Suzi Marshall 11 months ago

The NCAA transfer rules are awful. I?d like to see the rule softened to give the kids some flexibility. If a kid has not been used at all his sioph or junior years, he should be able to transfer without penalty.

Danny Hernandez 11 months ago

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

Aaron Paisley 11 months 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.

Dirk Medema 11 months ago

Florida didn't have a HC or OC change, but they did have mass defections. Taylor is just 1 of a half dozen or so players to leave in the last month. Guessing that is related to the decidedly non-gator like production. Along those lines, not sure what they were doing on O, but there were 4 TE's, and they didn't seem to use any of them.

Aaron Paisley 11 months ago

Those mass defections should be a red flag indicator that those players were either not good enough to crack the top of the depth chart or there are character issues.

Al Martin 11 months ago

It could also be a red flag indicator that the Florida offensive coaching situation is a complete disaster (hint: it is). There's no way to know whether the kid will do anything positive here, and I know other transfers haven't, but he's got talent, so he's definitely worth a shot.

Dirk Medema 11 months ago

Actually noticing that the gators had a change at OC & OLC. Something wasn't right in Gainesville.

Brett McCabe 11 months 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.

Steve Corder 11 months ago

Without the transfer rule recruiting would change to raiding, and you'd have another soap box issue on which to rant. Be glad the rule exists?

W Keith Swinehart II 11 months 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.

Eric Dawson 11 months 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)

Jacob Zutterman 11 months ago

Plus Harwell will start playing this year

Mark Lindrud 11 months ago

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

Dirk Medema 11 months ago

Exactly. Jimmay & Trent will both be gone, with Jr Shelley-Smith and Soph Ben Johnson, so it would be nice to have an (slightly) experienced upperclassman.

Maybe opinions of transfers will change if Harwell plays well next year.

Chris Ramsey 11 months 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.

Chris Ramsey 11 months ago

I would be very happy to pick up a couple of freshman o-lineman from Florida. Still plenty of time for Reagan to mold them.

Andy Tweedy 11 months ago

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

Mark Lindrud 11 months 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.

Tom Brenton 11 months 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.

Joe Ross 11 months 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.

Al Martin 11 months ago

Yes. On the new kid, and frankly, anything else in this program. If I've learned anything the last couple of years, it's that Charlie's a good salesman. Everything sounds great, and his decisions all make sense, but the product on the field has remained awful.

I need to see an offense that doesn't struggle against mediocre competition before I believe again. One can argue about progress on defense this year, and I even believe it somewhat, but the combination of offense, defense, and special teams turned out to be a mid to lower tier Conference USA quality team this year.

I'm not buying hype anymore...

Chris Ramsey 11 months ago

Maybe I'm buying into the hype again but I'm very excited to see Reagan back at ku and running the O. I think he will be a huge benefit to the program.

John Randall 11 months ago

Dear Al, "Still awful" is not a realistic evaluation. Disappointing, yes, but far from the hopeless situation after Big Lew castrated the program four years ago.

Al Martin 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I respectfully disagree. The Iowa State loss was, in all aspects, the efforts of an awful team. Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Baylor, at home, were simply terrible. Even the Louisiana Tech game took a miracle to win, at home, against a team that was mediocre in a crummy conference.

119th in total offense, 101st in total defense, 121st in points for, 95th in points allowed (per http://www.teamrankings.com/)

"Awful" is, in fact, a perfectly reasonable and realistic evaluation.

The fact that many of us can look at that production and call it anything but awful is a very telling sign about how far this program has fallen.

I"m not without hope, but let's be realistic about where we are.

Mark Lindrud 11 months ago

You mean after all the influx of talent we had come in this year, you won't buy into hype again? Lol

Dirk Medema 10 months, 4 weeks ago

The majority of the "influx of talent" never saw the field this year. 40% are RS and over 10% left altogether. There is plenty of talent in that 40%, which should have an impact this year.

In this case, we'll be a year and a half before we know more - except for Tait's articles about the scout team heroics.

Joe Ross 11 months ago

I suppose I should clarify. My interest will be piqued for incomers, and I will obviously be hoping that they perform well. But I will NOT misjudge talent level by assuming too much, nor will I allow my hopes to elevate beyond what is reasonable for never having seen a product on the field. And for the sake of full disclosure, I reserve the right to feel differently about basketball. (The proof, as they say, is indeed in the pudding.)

Kevin Randell 11 months ago

I'm right there with you Joe. I haven't turned to the "Dark Side" just yet. I still hold hope that we will turn things around enough that we qualify for a bowl game next year. But two seasons in a row of these hyped up players coming in and falling flat on the field....well that broken record is getting old. BUT, I really think with us having an actual OC will do wonders for the Jayhawks. But at this point, I think many are practicing hopeful pessimism.

Mark Lindrud 11 months ago

Next year is boom or bust with this team. It will be a more mature team with lots of seniors. 5-6 wins must happen at worst.

Erich Hartmann 10 months, 4 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...

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