6’0″ 193 pounds; Hometown: Manchester, Tenn.
One of the players who struggled last year and was part of Tennessee football’s secondary woes, Alontae Taylor battled a hamstring injury for a lot of last season. Now, with a full offseason to get healthy and further develop, he is expected to take a major step forward. Josh Heupel clearly expects it, which is why he brought the guy to SEC Media Days.
Once a four-star athlete out of Coffee County Central High School, Taylor has been playing cornerback ever since he arrived on Rocky Top. That’s not likely to change this year either, and after an interception each of the past two seasons, this should be his chance to thrive with Bryce Thompson now gone to the NFL.
Taylor certainly has the potential if he can get back to 100 percent, and as an athlete, his versatility is likely a selling point on its own for NFL scouts. As a result, expect him to be a major playmaker in 2021, especially in Tim Banks’ nickel-heavy schemes.
For his career, Taylor has 102 tackles, 74 of which are solo, to go along with four tackles for a loss, half a sack, two interceptions, nine pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a touchdown. Again, that speaks to versatility, and it’ll help him with pro scouts.