Ending a whirlwind year of recruiting, Coffee County sophomore quarterback Alontae Taylor pledged his verbal commitment to Vanderbilt University on Tuesday night in an announcement on Twitter. Taylor, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder is rated the nation’s No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2018. Taylor is also listed as a 4 star prospect and is the #5 prospect in the state of Tennessee for the Class of 2018. Alontae is the first commitment for Vanderbilt for the 2018 recruiting class.
In an interview with Barton Simmons of 247Sports Nation, Taylor said: “I just like their academics, football program and it’s close to home.” Taylor, who has close to 1,000 yards in total offense this season as the Coffee County quarterback, is projected to play as a wide receiver or defensive back in college.
Thunder Radio caught up with Coffee County head coach Ryan Sulkowski and Taylor on Wednesday to get their thoughts. “The physical ability to play at the next level is there. The field vision, the strength and the speed is all there” said Sulkowski. He also said that mentally, the coaching and experience he is getting has been beneficial. “(Playing at the 6A level) has not helped him statistically, but he is playing against guys that he will play against at the next level and it will only help him in the future” added Sulkowski. “Alontae’s commitment helps Vanderbilt and their coaches are excited about (getting an athlete with Taylor’s versatility).”
When asked what position Vanderbilt planned to play him, Taylor said: “I tell every coach, put me where you want me and I will give you my 100%. Just give me a chance to play and show you what I can do.” Taylor was humble but excited as he talked about Vanderbilt and his reasons for committing. “(My commitment) would not be possible without my teammates and coaches. Vanderbilt offered me and has shown me a lot of love and I am loving it.” Vanderbilt, which has shown a recent increase in funding facilities improvements, sold Taylor on their commitment to football. “It was real big. Their indoor facility, field and stadium (convinced me that they are serious about football.)” Taylor, who plans to major in athletic physical therapy, admitted that a Vanderbilt diploma and proximity to home were huge factors in his decision. “The big factor in my decision has been the education. Vanderbilt is close to home and it will be easy for my family and teammates to come and watch me.”
With Coffee County on a bye this Friday, Alontae Taylor will be a guest on the pregame edition of Friday Night Thunder on Friday night. Friday Night Thunder will air from 6:00 to 6:45 on Friday night as hosts Dennis Weaver and Josh Peterson will get the chance to interview him live on the air for the Thunder Radio listening audience.