Brien Taylor has a whirlwind of official visits ahead of his commitment announcement. The JUCO defensive lineman took his official visit to Tennessee football on Saturday for the Vols’ matchup with Georgia.
The visit went well for Taylor, and it even included one-on-one time with head coach Josh Heupel as the two went bowling.
“He was the one driving me around some of the times, like head coaches really don’t be doing that, especially in season,” Taylor said. “They got a whole game to worry about, you know what I’m saying? They were making sure that I knew I was not just wanted, but needed too, at the same time, to play at Tennessee.”
Along with spending time with Heupel, Taylor got to spend time with Tennessee defensive line coach Rodney Garner. He was impressed with the veteran coach and his track records.
“He going to coach me hard, but it’s going to pay off because he got 34 years of SEC coaching experience,” Taylor said Garner told him. “So he really is the GOAT in the SEC when it comes to D-line.”
Taylor ranks as the No. 10 overall prospect in the 2024 JUCO class, and the No. 4 defensive lineman. He spent much of his visit paying attention to Tyler Baron.
Baron, a Vols’ edge rusher, is who Taylor would hope to model his play after at Tennessee.
“Tyler Baron, he did good,” Taylor said. “I was watching him, and then he’s most likely leaving this year. So that’s another reason I’m on their recruiting board. Come, come pick up where people left off.”
The result didn’t play much on Taylor’s opinion of the visit. He saw Neyland Stadium at its loudest when Jaylen Wright broke off a 75-yard touchdown run.
That run, and the noise that ensued, were Taylor’s favorite part of the weekend.
It was different. It was for sure loud,” Taylor said. “So it got so loud to the point you you can’t even hear the person talking to you next to you at some points.”
Added Taylor, “It doesn’t discourage me because I feel like that’s one of the reasons I’m being recruited by them because they I can help come make a difference and help win games.”
The defensive lineman met Inky Johnson during his visit and got to talk to the former Vol. He also saw several other alumni like Alvin Kamara in attendance.
“They’re bigger than just football,” Taylor said. “About relationships, like, you get connected by who you know, not what you know. So you get connections. SO if you want to follow up to a different career path, that’s not the NFL, they gonna have you covered on that too.”
Taylor has official visits scheduled with UCF for the first weekend of December, and Florida the weekend of Dec. 8. He has already officially visited Georgia, which holds the only crystal ball for Taylor in the 247Sports database. He also is mulling with unofficial visits to Florida and Texas A&M.
There isn’t a firm timeline for Taylor, but he expected to have a decision made soon after his final visit.
“Tennessee,” Taylor said, “is still one of my top schools for sure.”