Garrett Taylor gave Michigan's recruiting class a much-needed boost Monday afternoon, announcing his commitment to the Wolverines. The versatile 4-star defensive back, who attends St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Va., is the first pledge for head coach Brady Hoke this year.
Taylor, rated No. 8 nationally among cornerbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings, joins four fellow Michigan pledges who each committed last summer. The 6'1", 188-pound prospect ends a serious drought for the program, which saw two 5-star recruits decommit this winter.
Last week, the Wolverines whiffed on coveted quarterback Josh Rosen. The 5-star passer picked UCLA, opting to stay home in Southern California days after a visit to Ann Arbor.
The addition of Taylor is a necessary step in the right direction for Michigan. He chose the Wolverines over a long list of suitors that included Stanford, South Carolina, Tennessee and Michigan State.
Taylor is a talented playmaker in the secondary. His presence on the roster will immediately present options for Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who could be tempted to see him at safety.
He barrels through blocks, displaying outstanding pad level at the point of impact during his pursuit of the ball. He strikes through the torso while tackling in the open field, exhibiting sustained wrap-up technique that keeps opponents in his clutches.
Taylor is equally aggressive in pass coverage. He thrives in one-on-one settings, using his strength to take control during the initial stages of a receiver's route progression.
He has quality closing speed and shows impressive anticipation while reacting to the offensive attack. Expect Taylor to carve out an early role in Ann Arbor, lining up wherever the Wolverines need him most.
He finished third on his high school team with 47 tackles in 2013, according to the St. Christopher's School website. His efforts also included two fumble recoveries and an interception.
The team signed 5-star New Jersey prospect Jabrill Peppers in February. The dynamic defender arrives on campus this summer and has already drawn comparisons to Wolverines legend Charles Woodson.