Miami Palmetto five-star defensive lineman Leonard Taylor cut his top schools list from five to two on Monday, listing the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida Gators.
Taylor broke the news on Twitter with the caption “That’s final.”
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound prospect is the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 27 overall recruit in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite score. He previously included LSU, Tennessee, and Auburn in his top five, but is now focusing on UM and UF.
Taylor recorded 11 sacks, 26 tackles for loss, and 68 tackles in 2019, alongside Miami (FL) commit Savion Collins. He would be the Canes’ first 5-star signee since Lorenzo Lingard in 2018.
The Miami Herald All-Dade 8A-6A selection becomes the second player to peg the Hurricanes in their “final two” list. Five-star James Williams, who originally left Miami out of his previous top schools, sported UM along with Georgia in his top two.
Taylor is the highest-ranked player apart of the highly touted “Palmetto 5”, which includes CB Jason Marshall, DT Savion Collins, S Corey Collier, and WR Brashard Smith.
Although the Hurricanes have made a dramatic leap in Taylor’s recruitment, Dan Mullen’s Florida Gators remain the front runners for the Miami Palmetto star. Thankfully, the NCAA’s recruiting dead period has helped UM pursue its local stars, including Taylor.
Since the original dead period began on April 15 — and extended four more times: first on May 31, next to June 30, July 31, and now to August 31 — the Canes have garnered verbal commitments from Lamar Seymore, Allan Haye, Malik Curtis, Ryan Rodriguez, Elijah Arroyo, Deshawn Troutman, Jacolby George, and Romello Brinson. Seven of the eight players — aside from Elijah Arroyo — are from the Sunshine State, six being from South Florida.
A commitment from Taylor would grant Miami a top ten 2021 recruiting class.