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Recruiting: Land O'Lakes' Kent Taylor scales lists at tight end

Land O’Lakes tight end Kent Taylor isn’t so much under the radar after a junior year in which he scored nine TDs.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Land O’Lakes tight end Kent Taylor isn’t so much under the radar after a junior year in which he scored nine TDs.

At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Land O'Lakes TE Kent Taylor is a pretty hard guy to miss. And many did, if they weren't looking closely the past two seasons.

Though he toiled somewhat in anonymity, Taylor hasn't escaped the notice of colleges, as he has developed into one of Tampa Bay's top recruits for 2012.

Already, Taylor has offers from Oregon, Purdue, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Cincinnati, to name a few, and his recent performance at the U.S. Army All-American Combine is sure to net him many more.

He will visit Florida on Feb. 12 for a junior day, and word is an offer from the Gators could be forthcoming.

At the combine, Taylor was named one of the top offensive performers, according to former Land O'Lakes coach Matt Kitchie.

"He's a special talent," Kitchie said. "He's been blessed with a large body and a tremendous amount of athleticism for his size. What makes him a little different is he has an ability to block and takes great pride in it."

As a sophomore, Taylor only caught seven passes, but four were for touchdowns.

Last year, on a team where Jason Tello and Will Irwin combined for more than 100 catches, almost 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns, Taylor made an impact. He had 35 catches for 571 yards and scored nine touchdowns, with a scoring catch in eight of the 10 games he played in.

WILD ABOUT B-CU: Boca Ciega WR Tyree Green has committed to Bethune-Cookman University, not a bad landing spot for the 6-2, 190-pounder.

Green had a good junior season and was hoping to use a bigger senior season to attract some notice. But the Pirates struggled in 2010, and his stock never quite rose.

But Bethune-Cookman, which had seen him play in the spring, stepped up with an offer a few weeks ago, telling Green he had a chance to play immediately.

"I feel relieved," Green said. "I feel like I made the right decision. They have some good talent going there next year. It's close to home and they showed the most interest out of everybody."

Green had drawn interest from USF, Middle Tennessee State and Iowa State, and he always seemed closest to West Virginia until the coaching changes there last year.

Smartly, Green has already made a new Wildcat friend: Jefferson standout QB Quentin Williams.

The Dragons' record-setter and Florida's Mr. Football has committed to Bethune-Cookman, and when the Wildcats started showing interest in Green he friended Williams on Facebook, and they started chatting.

When Green announced his decision on Facebook, he wrote, "so me and my qb Quentin Williams bout to make it happen this year believe that one."

Williams then chimed in, "That's what I'm talkin about."

Green said Williams' only advice on deciding where to go to school was "doing what's best for you."

The two tried to schedule their visit to B-CU together, but it didn't work out. Williams is there this weekend, and Green is going next week.

But they'll get together soon enough, Green said.

"Bethune runs the spread with Quentin coming in, that's what he does," Green said. "It's an honor to play with him, he's Mr. Football. We're going to take that team pretty far. We're going to win a whole bunch of games as Wildcats."

SPREADING HIS WINGS: Pasco's Jamie Byrd committed to Boise State, a nice pickup for the Broncos program. At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Byrd is athletic and a huge hitter at safety.

COMING UP: On Wednesday the St. Petersburg Times will host an online recruiting chat with Alonso's Anthony Chickillo at 7 p.m. at hometeam.tampabay.com. Last week, Armwood QB Josh Grady was the guest, and the transcript is still available on our website.

John C. Cotey can be reached at (813) 406-0530.

Recruiting: Land O'Lakes' Kent Taylor scales lists at tight end 01/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 11:05pm]
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