Four-star TE Kent Taylor commits to Gators

By Adam Silverstein
October 27, 2011

Two days after losing a second-year tight end due to transfer, the Florida Gators picked up the top player at the position nationally in the 2012 recruiting class.

In front of friends and family at Land O’Lakes High School, four-star TE Kent Taylor (Land O’Lakes, FL) committed to the Gators on Thursday during a ceremony in which he received his jersey for the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

“It was just about where I am going to get used and the best place to play early,” he told on Oct. 4 when his mind was made up. “It was a place where I felt I could have the whole experience of education, football, socially, and spiritually.”

Taylor – a 6’5”, 220 lbs. pass-catcher who is the ideal player for offensive coordinator Charlie Weis’s system – chose Florida over offers from Florida State, Georgia and Penn State. He is the second tight end to commit to the Gators for 2012.

“I really like Coach Weis’s offense,” Taylor said back in May. “I’ve talked to a couple of people who have played for him and they have all told me you definitely would like to play for Coach Weis.”

Florida already has four-star TE Colin Thompson (Warminster, PA) on board and is likely planning to take a third player at the position, too.

While Taylor is ranked as the No. 1 tight end and 55th best player in the country by Rivals, Thompson is also highly touted at No. 6 and 215th, respectively, by the recruiting service. Their spots are swapped by ESPNU, which has listed Thompson at No. 1 and 85th and Taylor at No. 4 and 147th overall.

Read more, watch a video and check out the commitment list…after the break!

Both players are comfortable about being part of the same class and neither has indicated having any reservations about playing with the other.

Taylor missed his high school team’s first three games of the season after breaking his wrist in the offseason but has turned it on recently, catching 13 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns over the last three contests.

He has indicated that he wishes to take a redshirt his freshman season, though Taylor may have to reevaluate that stance due to Florida’s lack of depth at the position.

Taylor is the first player to commit to the Gators since five-star offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, NC) hopped on board Aug. 5. He is 17th member of Florida’s 2012 recruiting class, which suffered a defection earlier this month.

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Photo Credit: Bill Ward/The Pasco Tribune


  1. Omar says:

    A Hybrid TE like Taylor could definitely ease the pain if we miss out on Agholar and/or Diggs. Taylor and Thompson will be clones of Hernandez and Gronkowski less the adult film actresses.

  2. npgator says:

    Huge pick up!

  3. John S says:

    Great news with the way Reed is struggling I’d love to see Taylor playing next year. Welcome to Gator Nation.

  4. Eli says:

    Cannot wait to see us pound the rock in the coming years. With big backs coming in plus these 2 awesome tight ends and a hopefully good o-line, I’m excited to see what should amount to a great ball-control offense.

  5. David says:

    Supposedly, Taylor WANTS to redshirt. Yes, you read correctly. He wants to redshirt so he can put on weight. Thompson is already at 250 lbs; Taylor is at 220 lbs.

  6. joey says:

    Great pick up……… what about this QB…. everypass is perfectly placed

  7. aziatic41 says:

    Great pick-up for the Gators. This kid is very fluid and runs like a wr. He reminds me of Gronkowski from the New England Patriots a little. Jordan Reed is not a true tight end right now and appears to be struggling adjusting to the new position. I really like our tight end combination moving forward with this kid, Ac Leonard, and Dylan Thompson.

    I said it in one of my earlier posts in the week, but am I the only one that thinks Jordan Reed should be used as our wildcat qb? I mean he did a really good job last year as our wildcat qb. He definitely is more dangerous as our wildcat qb than Trey Burton. Reed is bigger and stronger and has a better arm than Burton. With him as our wildcat qb, that would put way more pressure on defenses than when Burton is back there. Reed would get positive yardage on most carries.

    Right now Reed is clearly out of position and we aren’t getting much from him. Put the ball in his hands and let him make some simple easy plays from the wildcat. Heck I think Burton is a better past catching tight-end threat than Reed. Maybe they should switch positions

    • SC Gator says:

      Well, I thought last year that we would be best off leaving Reed as QB full time. To me it seemed as if the offense had the most life and we had the best chance to win. I’m not sure I’d go that far now – different system, different coaches, etc – but he still looks like the best option we have for that from of offense. Burton is a hell of a player but like you I think he makes a much better pass catching TE than does Reed and is a better threat that way than as a QB.

      • g8ter27 says:

        It is strange how many people see that about Reed as they did last year) and the Gillisliee is our best running back in this system as well…..and yet for some reason these guys sit the bench…oh and as someone else said yesterday..what happened to O. Hines????

    • CeeThree says:

      I agree for the most part on Reed, but as much as I’d love to see him being Cam Newton Lite, this is a different system (or is supposed to be, looks the same without Brantley) and he doesn’t fit the pro-style under center.

      I also think Jordan should be the wildcat QB, but the problem probably there is.. if he’s at QB, who’s at TE? AC Leonard? Clay Burton? The coaching staff doesn’t seem to be comfortable playing them much, and Omarius Hines clearly slept with one of the coaches wives or daughters because they absolutely hate the kid lol – that’s my only explanation for how he never plays.

      btw, great pickup with this kid, glad he’s on board. I like how his quote is about how UF is the best place to play early, yet he wants to redshirt.. uhh, what? lol

  8. SC Gator says:

    Orange and Blue skies indeed!

  9. j. says:

    That last REAL T.E. we had that wasnt a hybrid,go back all the way to Ben Troupe.

    Its been that long

  10. aziatic41 says:

    @j., I think you are forgetting about a guy name Aaron Hernandez who now plays for the New England Patriots.

  11. Gators02crew says:

    Great pick up for the Gators!!!! The #1 & #2 TE’s in the country coming to Play for Gator Nation, go to love it!!!!

    Too bad he won’t playing for his H.S. this weekend, he got suspended for 1 game for throwing a punch in last weeks loss.

  12. Ken (CA) says:

    Adam, with only 68 scholarship players on the roster at this point, how many players can the Gators actually sign in this class? last time we were low we were able to sign 28 a couple of years ago. We can go over 25 if we have space still, can’t we?

    • My understanding is that 25 is the maximum for fall enrollment. Can count some back to previous year IF they enroll in Jan. HOWEVER, Florida won’t take more than 25-27 this year because they want an equal number of players in each class going forward. They won’t turn away top players but won’t just add bodies to the class to fill the schollys. They look at it as having two recruiting classes to get back to even.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        That’s good to know. I wouldn’t expect them to fill bodies, but we have a number of top players still looking our way, it will be nice to know we may not have to turn one away at a late date just because we hit 25

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