Auburn Football Recruiting Update: Is Jonathan Taylor an Option?


Sep 21, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive end Jon Taylor (94) tackles North Texas Mean Green running back Brandin Byrd (24) during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated North Texas 45-21. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It is not a shock to hear that the Auburn Tigers might be interested in signing a junior college player that was dismissed from the Georgia football team. After all, starting quarterback Nick Marshall fits that description perfectly. Tray Matthews, who is currently sitting out the 2014 season due to transfer restrictions, also signed with Auburn after beginning his career at UGA.

However, there are different circumstances surrounding one potential Auburn football recruiting target: Jonathan Taylor.

According to an report, the Tigers are currently recruiting the 6-foot-5, 335 pound defensive tackle who is now playing at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi following his departure from Georgia.

More from Auburn Football Recruiting

One reason that Auburn could have an interest is in Taylor is the upcoming need for players along the defensive line. The Tigers will graduate Ben Bradley, Jeffrey Whitaker, Gabe Wright and Angelo Blackson following the 2014 season. That would leave only Montravius Adams as a player on the roster that has seen extensive playing time at defensive tackle.

Plus, there isn’t much help on the way. Currently, only one member of the 2015 Auburn football recruiting class is an interior defensive lineman: Jauntavius Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 330-pound high school prospect from Lincoln, Alabama.

A second thought as to why the Tigers would consider Taylor’s services is his relationship with Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner, who was on the Bulldogs’ staff that recruited the lineman. Taylor says he and Garner still speak about once a week. According to the report, Taylor may have plans to visit Auburn this weekend. He was in Baton Rouge last week for LSU’s game against Mississippi State.

Taylor, a sophomore that would have two more years of eligibility once he signs with a program following the season, was highly recruited coming out of Jenkins County (GA) High School. ESPN rated Taylor as a four star product, the sixth best defensive tackle in the nation and the fourth best player in Georgia at any position as a high school senior.

As a redshirt freshman, Taylor played in ten games for the Bulldogs and accumulated nine tackles and a sack. He was expected to be the starting nose tackle in Athens this season, but was dismissed in July because of a felony arrest for aggravated assault/family violence.

“That kid is struggling right now,” Chuck Conley, Taylor’s high school coach said shortly following the incident. “He has obviously stubbed his toe. Let’s let the dust settle a bit, but that kid is distraught and tore up about everything. The track record doesn’t speak highly of him, but he’s not a bad person. He’s a good person. I trust him with my life.”

However, domestic violence is far from stubbing one’s toe. And, in light of the recent issues in the National Football League surrounding Ray Rice, Jonathan Dwyer and others, signing Taylor would be very bold, to put it mildly. Some might consider it to be in very poor taste.

Plus, it wasn’t Taylor’s first run in with the law: he was also arrested while at UGA as part of an illegal check cashing incident.

Live Feed

Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


  • 2023 Week 4 AP Poll Top 25: Every SEC team’s highest, lowest spot on ballotSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Football: Florida, LSU rise in Week 4 2023 power rankingsSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Tailgating: Where should you go in each town?South Bound & Down
  • SEC football standings based on yards per play through Week 2FanSided
  • Auburn Basketball: Projected starting lineup and depth chart for 2023-24 seasonBusting Brackets
  • On a recent stint as a CBS studio host during an Auburn bye week, Malzahn discussed the “manhood sessions” he has held with players to educate them on how to treat women.

    “You’ve got to be up front, you’ve got to educate them,” Malzahn said. “We have manhood sessions once a week. It’s really character development. One of our topics is respecting women. We get very to the point and that’s our expectations at Auburn.”

    Malzahn also said that the Tigers football program has a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence. Shortly after the story of Auburn’s reported interest in Taylor made the media rounds, the coach echoed his beliefs when asked about recruiting players with any history of domestic violence.

    “There’s no doubt,” Malzahn said. “You don’t go there.”

    He didn’t mention Taylor by name, because coaches are not allowed to discuss individual recruiting targets, but based on Malzahn’s comments, pursuing Taylor doesn’t seem likely. Despite Taylor’s talent, and the lack of big bodies to plug into the middle of the Tigers’ defensive line, it would be best for Auburn to stay away from the former Bulldog.

    The Tigers have not secured any new commitments since our last update, but according to the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings, the Auburn football recruiting class has moved up a spot to No. 8 in the nation and No. 5 in the SEC.

    Alabama is still listed atop the rankings, but Georgia has overtaken Texas A&M for second and South Carolina has moved up to No. 4. The Aggies have slipped to sixth and Auburn jumped one spot ahead of Tennessee, which gives the SEC six of the nation’s top ten classes at this point in the process.

    The players currently verbally committed to the 2015 Auburn football recruiting class include:

    LB Montavious Atkinson – 6-2, 205 – Fairburn, GA

    CB Tony Bridges – 6-2, 185 – Gulf Coast CC

    OL Tyler Carr – 6-5, 310 – Gadsden, AL

    DB Jordan Colbert – 6-2, 205 – Griffin, GA

    FB Chandler Cox – 6-2, 220 – Apopka, FL

    S Ben Edwards – 6-0, 196 – Jacksonville, FL

    OL Marquel Harrell – 6-3, 295 – Fairburn, GA

    TE Jalen Harris – 6-5, 238 – Montgomery, AL

    DT Jauntavius Johnson – 6-2, 330 – Lincoln, AL

    ATH/RB Kerryon Johnson – 6-0, 200 – Madison, AL

    OL Kaleb Kim – 6-4, 280 – Hoschton, GA

    LB Richard McBryde – 6-2, 210 – Troy, AL

    RB D’Anfernee McGriff – 6-1, 230 – Tallahassee, FL

    QB Tyler Queen – 6-2, 229 – Kennesaw, GA

    RB Jovon Robinson –5-11, 225 – Georgia Military College

    P/K Ian Shannon – 6-4, 190 Marietta, GA

    OL Bailey Sharp – 6-5, 280 – Marietta, GA

    ATH/QB Jason Smith– 6-1, 180 – Gulf Coast CC

    LB Elijah Sullivan – 6-1, 215 – Tucker, GA

    DB Chris Westry – 6-4, 180 – Oakleaf Park, FL

    LB Darrell Williams – 6-3, 227 – Hoover, AL