College Football Signing Day: Sorry Alabama, Justin Taylor Commits to Kentucky
On Wednesday, despite committing to Alabama last February, running back Justin Taylor decided to sign on with Joker Phillips and Kentucky.
The talented youngster stands tall at 5’10” and 205 pounds, and has the ability to run the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He rushed for 11 touchdowns and over 1,500 yards back in 2010, and is ranked as the No. 36 running back prospect in the nation by ESPN.
As noted by Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated, Taylor’s case is unique several regards. Per the report:
Taylor's case is interesting because he is one of the first players affected by a new SEC rule that allows schools to sign a maximum of 25 players each year. Taylor committed to Alabama in February 2011, but a knee injury suffered in September threw his recruitment into question. In January, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban told Taylor the Crimson Tide wouldn't be able to sign him in the 2012 class, but Saban promised Taylor a scholarship in the 2013 class.
Under the old rules, Alabama could have signed Taylor to a National Letter of Intent anyway. That would have banned other schools from recruiting Taylor, even though it wouldn't have guaranteed him a 2012 scholarship. This year, had Taylor decided to wait on the Tide, other schools could have continued recruiting him. That way, if he changed his mind during the summer, he could have taken a scholarship from someone else without any red tape.
Taylor opted not to deal with that scenario, choosing to sign with Kentucky.
Taylor ultimately passed on late recruiting pitches from Ole Miss and Purdue before his decision on Wednesday morning.