COVINGTON, Ga. – Kurt Taylor, 2017 3-star running back from Newton High School, has committed to Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines.
Taylor announced his commitment on Twitter, posting a picture of himself and the Wolverines’ head man:
After Speaking with my Parents and Coaches, I am blessed to say, I have committed to The University of Michigan pic.twitter.com/nZa5jQELtD
— Kurt Taylor (@KurtTaylorRB2) October 16, 2015
For Michigan, Taylor is the third 2017 recruit to make a verbal pledge, joining fellow 3-stars Carter Dunaway (TE) and Benjamin St-Juste (CB). The Wolverines’ 2017 class is off to a solid start in the 247sports national team rankings, checking in at No. 20 overall and No. 2 in the Big Ten. One has to imagine that with Michigan’s hot start on the 2015 season this is a class that will only continue to grow as well.
Keep in mind, Harbaugh is being praised as one of the best coaches in the business right now and he has Michigan firmly in contention for big things in the Big Ten. His program has a huge game against rival Michigan State coming up this weekend, and the outcome of said game could go a long ways in determining just how much this Wolverines team will do this season and how far they’ll go from a national (and playoff) perspective.
Speaking of perspectives, from a recruiting perspective Michigan basically sells itself. Throw in a coach like Harbaugh who has brought the program back to immediate relevancy; and it’s safe to assume that this 2017 class will grow to great heights. For the record, Harbaugh’s 2016 class currently features 22 commits and is ranked No. 8 overall nationally, so the bar is without a doubt set high.
Today’s U Initial Scouting Report:
Taylor is 5-foot-8, 197 pounds and runs a 4.48 40 (4.30 shuttle), so the immediate thing you want to see in his film is whether or not that speed translates. At his size, that’s going to currently be his greatest asset as a football player, so it needs to show up on the football field. There is a difference between speed and “football speed”, so that’s something to keep in mind.
The good news for Michigan is, that speed does show up on film and specifically in open space. Once Taylor gets some room he’s got that “second gear” you look for in quick running backs, so it’s safe to say that once he gets into the open field he has the potential to be a home-run threat.
Taylor’s game is much more than speed, though. He’s a very complete running back who runs low to the ground with good pad-level and shows off great footwork. His quick allow him to change direction quickly, and he’s definitely the type of player who can make one cut and accelerate through the new lane.
For being a relatively smaller back, Taylor is also an extremely tough runner. His pad-level really helps him out in that regard, but he shows off the ability to not go down on first contact. He runs his feet, picks up his knees and has good balance, which helps him break tackles. He has an effective spin-move, can keep his momentum moving forward even while moving laterally, and he uses his off-hand well with the stiff-arm.
Overall, Taylor projects to be able to do a lot. He can beat a defense to the hole with speed, make a defender miss or simply tough his way out of trouble.
It’s easy to see that Michigan got a very good back, and keep in mind he still has a whole senior season to go. There’s a chance he grows and improves even more, so the sky is really the limit for Taylor.