We’re not done with defensive backs yet. Alontae Taylor is a true freshman with ridiculous athletic ability. A four-star in-state prospect in the Vols’ 2018 recruiting class, there are lots of ways the Vols could get Taylor onto the field.
Versatility alone gives Taylor a great chance to see the field. Tennessee football is working him at defensive back this preseason. But they listed him as that and a wide receiver. So he has multiple chances to work his way into a rotation.
On top of that, Taylor could play any of the spots in the secondary. Being an athlete like that gives him tons of chances and avenues to see the field. It’s well-documented that he’s a great athlete, and given the fact that Jeremy Pruitt worked hard to make sure he recommitted to the Vols after Butch Jones was fired, he’s going to want to put him on the field.
Heck, even if he doesn’t see much action in the rotation, Taylor is likely to become a force on special teams. There’s no reason to believe he can’t be an elite kickoff returner, and Tennessee just needs to find a way to put the ball in his hands.
At 6’0″ 186 pounds, Taylor has solid height to play defensive back. He’d probably have to move to the slot if he played receiver. But that position is so uncertain that it would work in his favor. On top of all this, he was an early enrollee. So getting those spring reps to learn the system will be huge when it comes to the coaches needing help.