Miami football and Florida named sole finalists for 5-Star DT Leonard Taylor

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

In a post to Twitter on Monday afternoon, five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor of Palmetto High School in Miami named the Florida and Miami football programs finalists.

Likely contingent on the outcome of the 2020 season, the Miami football program was named one of the two finalists for five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor on Monday. Taylor made the announcement that his college choice will come down to the Hurricanes and Gators via Twitter on Monday afternoon.

All four crystal balls for Taylor on the 247Sports website project Taylor to sign with Florida. Taylor would be by far the highest-ranked signee for the 2021 Miami football class. Taylor is the 29th ranked player, third-ranked DT and sixth-ranked in Florida in the Class of 2021. Signing Taylor would be a major coup for Miami.

The decision by Taylor to name Miami and Florida as finalists for his recruitment eliminated Auburn, LSU and Tennesee. Alabama and Georgia had also been mentioned as possible collegiate destinations for Taylor.

Taylor hinted at his finalists last week in an interview with Rivals.Com stating Miami and Florida were at the top in his recruitment. Taylor told Rob Cassidy of Rivals that he preferred to play defensive end, where his recruitment stands with Miami, when he will make a decision and what the prevailing factor will be.

Taylor gives recruiting update

"ON OTHER SCHOOLS IN THE RUNNING“It’s just them and Miami at the top.”ON WHERE THINGS STAND WITH MIAMI“Basically, they tell me that if I stay home things are good for everyone. Why leave? Me staying is good for the Canes and good for me. I could help turn things back around.”ON WHICH SCHOOL HAS THE LEAD AS THINGS STAND“I don’t know. I’m actually really feeling both of them right now. Seriously.”ON A DECISION TIMETABLE“I’m going to try to wait a little bit longer before I decide. I want to take visits, but you know. For now, I’m just planning to wait a little bit longer.”ON THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN HIS DECISION“Basically it’s about the depth chart and if I can play as a freshman. That’s something I want to look close at.”"

Early playing time could play a key for Miami

The Hurricanes are in a good place with Taylor they have to show him a reason to want to be a part of the Miami football program. The 6’4, 255-pound star also spoke to 247Sports.Com about the reasons he is interested in Miami and the connections he has with the Hurricanes coaching staff.

"“They told me that I can play early because they got some seniors now. They also said that I can get [56] the number, and that’s I want … I want to play right away. I’m not the type of player that’s going to sit on the bench.I got a good connection with [defensive line Todd Stroud]…that’s my guy right there. He’s funny. Same with [assistant director of recruiting David Cooney]. All of the coaches show me love and good vibes.”"

Miami currently has commitments from defensive tackles, four-star Savion Collins and three-star Allan Haye. Collins is expected to eventually flip to Florida. Collins and three-star wide receiver Brashard Smith whose crystal ball projects him to sign with Miami are both teammates of Taylor at Palmetto.

Next. Miami solely recruiting QB Jay Allen for FB and baseball. dark

The expectation for Taylor’s decision should be that his commitment will come when he signs his National Letter of Intent, likely in December. Miami will lose senior DT Jon Ford after the 2020 season and junior Nesta Silvera has the option of declaring for the NFL Draft. Taylor would definitely compete immediately for playing time.