Tennessee has a number of prospects from the state of Alabama committed to them in their 2021 class. One of those recruits is now being heavily pursued by one of the big in-state programs in Alabama.
Auburn extended and offer to three-star athlete/wide receiver Roc Taylor on Tuesday of this week. Taylor, who plays for Oxford High School in Oxford, Alabama, has been committed to Tennessee since April 10th of this year. But his committed status isn’t stopping the Tigers from coming after him.
In an interview with AL.com, Taylor said that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn told him the Tigers would be putting “the full-court press” on him from here on out.
“I talked to Coach Malzahn,” Taylor told AL.com. “He said, ‘I know you are committed to Tennessee, but we are interested in you and we are going to be recruiting you very hard. We are going to be putting the full-court press on you.’”
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound athlete projects as a big-bodied wide receiver in college, and he helped Oxford reach the Class 6A state title game last season by hauling in 71 receptions for 1,306 yards and 17 touchdowns. Taylor is rated as the No. 481 overall prospect and the No. 16 recruit in the state of Alabama per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Auburn became the fifth SEC team to offer Taylor, and they’re the first of the two major in-state schools to do so. Programs like UAB, Troy, North Alabama, and Alabama A&M have all already offered Taylor, but neither Auburn nor Alabama had done so until this week.
Does Taylor take that personally? According to his high school head coach, the talented athlete might’ve been a little hurt that the offer came as late as it did, especially when Oxford is just under two hours away from Auburn’s campus.
“I don’t know if he was insulted or not,” Oxford coach Keith Etheredge told AL.com. “I’ve just told him to be patient. I think maybe he was just sort of hurt because he had such a good year last year.”
When asked by AL.com how he feels about his commitment to Tennessee, Taylor said he still “feels good” about his pledge to the Vols but added that he will “ride it out until the end of the season.”
Taylor is one of six prospects from the state of Alabama currently committed to the Vols in the 2021 class. He’s joined by No. 1 overall weak-side defensive end Dylan Brooks, four-star wide receiver Jordan Mosley, three-star athlete Trinity Bell, three-star safety Edwin White, and three-star cornerback Jay Jones. Auburn, meanwhile, has just two Alabama prospects committed to them: four-star defensive tackle Lee Hunter and four-star running back Armoni Goodwin.