Kurt Taylor, Wolverine

Kurt Taylor, Wolverine

October 17, 2015

Covington (GA) Newton running back Kurt Taylor committed to Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh

Covington (GA) Newton running back Kurt Taylor committed to Michigan on Friday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt, among others.

Taylor is 5’9″ and 200 lbs. He claims a 4.48 forty. As a sophomore in 2014, he had 74 carries for 462 yards (6.2 yards/carry) and 4 touchdowns, plus 3 catches for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns. This year as a junior, he has carried the ball 109 times for 729 yards (6.7 yards/carry) and 10 touchdowns, plus 7 catches for 94 yards.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star, #19 RB
Scout: 3-star RB
247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #24 RB, #308 overall

Hit the jump for the rest of the commitment post.

Taylor was offered this summer after visiting for the BBQ in the Big House in early August. He scheduled a visit for September, had weather issues with his flight, and rescheduled for the next weekend. Then he came back to Ann Arbor this weekend for the Michigan State game. He had a scheduled meeting with head coach Jim Harbaugh on Friday morning, which was a pretty good indication that he planned to commit. Players from Georgia don’t come to Michigan multiple times within a month without having designs on committing.

The first thing you notice about Taylor is his build. He might be only 5’8″ or 5’9″, but he’s listed at 200 lbs. and I don’t have many doubts that he weighs that much, or at least close to it. He is not a scrawny Rich Rodriguez back who’s half-slot – he’s a true running back. He can run laterally, but he can also put his foot in the ground, turn his shoulders upfield, and change direction quickly. Trim an inch or two off of De’Veon Smith, and you’ve got a replica in Taylor. Taylor isn’t as violent of a runner, but he does pack a punch, falls forward, and gains some yards after contact. He has quick feet and picks them up through traffic. He is a high-effort runner, and that seems to fit the Jim Harbaugh mold. He also shows an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and does a nice job of snatching the ball with his hands rather than his body.

Despite the listed 4.38 speed, Taylor is not a blazer. In fact, that’s the biggest issue I have with him. His top speed will not pull away from a ton of defensive backs. I would also like to see him develop a stiff-arm, which would put his build to better use than simply trying to run through people.

Taylor is the type of player who will squirt through the hole, bounce off a couple guys, and gain 30 yards, but he won’t be the guy who can run a jet sweep or hit the hole and house it from 70 yards away. I’m still waiting for Michigan to recruit that guy, but it hasn’t happened yet. I like him as a complementary back; however, I would hope that he can be paired with an elite, big-play prospect. When he arrives in 2017, there should be a battle for playing time as at least three of Michigan’s current running-back-by-committee guys will be gone by then (Derrick Green, Drake Johnson, De’Veon Smith).

Taylor is the third commit in the 2017 class, joining tight end Carter Dunaway and cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, who reclassified from the 2016 class. Michigan’s 2017 class should have about 26 open spots as of now, which is sure to change between now and Signing Day 2017. However, it does show that there is plenty of room for commits, including another running back or two.

You must belogged in to post a comment.