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Land O’Lakes tight end Kent Taylor said he went into Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl with doubts.
How would the Florida commit compete outside of Pasco County? How would he stack up against the nation’s top recruits in a nationally televised game?
“I kinda found out that I can play with the best,” said Taylor, Rivals’ No. 1 tight end prospect.
Taylor was one of the East’s leading receivers with three catches for 25 yards in his team’s 24-12 loss to the West at the Alamodome in San Antonio. NBC’s analysts spoke highly of his size and hands during the telecast.
“It was one of the funnest weeks of my life,” Taylor said. “It was a lot of fun.”
He left the game briefly after taking a helmet to the knee but recovered and said he has no lingering effects.
Taylor said one positive was the bonding he got to do with other UF Gator recruits. Four-star defensive tackle Dante Phillips and five-star offensive tackle D.J. Humphries were teammates on the East team. So was five-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard, who announced his commitment to Florida during the game.
“He was huge,” Taylor said.
Taylor committed to the Gators in October when he was formally invited to the U.S. Army game. He chose UF over Alabama, LSU, Penn State and others in part because then-offensive coordinator Charlie Weis uses tight ends heavily.
Weis has since left Gainesville to become the head coach at Kansas, but Taylor said he’s “still good at this point” with the Gators, although he’s waiting to see who UF names as its next offensive coordinator.