When McKenzie sophomore Marquez Taylor walked up to football coach Wade Comer on Thursday before class started, Comer was on the phone. Little did he know that phone call would result in Taylor's first Power 5 scholarship offer, as Tennessee wide receivers coach Kodi Burns gave Taylor a scholarship offer to play for the Volunteers. "My coach was on the phone, and he told me to come over and talk to him," Taylor said. "He offered me. We talked about my leadership on the field, how I play on the field and the other sports that I play."
Taylor, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete, plays running back and wide receiver for the Rebels. During the 2020 season, he rushed for 1,021 yards and 12 touchdowns with 9.4 yards per carry, and he was also third on the team in receiving yards with 299.
The 6-foot, 175-pound Taylor said he learned of the offer from Tennessee during a conversation with first-year Vols wide receivers coach Kodi Burns.
“My coach was already on the phone with (Burns) about me, and I walked in to head to school and he called me over. Then, I got on the phone and he offered me,” said Taylor, who also holds offers from Memphis, Middle Tennessee and Eastern Kentucky.
“I was excited about this one. I didn’t have words to say at the time.”
First-year Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel’s staff invited Taylor to attend the Vols’ spring-ending Orange and White Game on Saturday. Taylor said he’s planning to make the trip to Knoxville.
“I haven’t been to UT before, and I actually got invited to go down there this weekend,” he said. “I’m going, no doubt.”
Taylor said he was “born and raised in McKenzie,” and his father has liked Tennessee for years. He said his father undoubtedly likes the idea of him playing for the Vols, but he’s keeping an open mind about his growing list of options.
“My dad is a big fan of UT, so I’ve grown up watching them all my life,” he said. “But I really didn’t pay attention to college when I was young. I liked NFL more.
“My dad wants me to go there — no doubt about it. But I’ve got a couple other schools on my mind.”
Marquez Taylor was the big fish in the pond during the morning session. He was explosive and showed great burst. He worked at running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He adjusted well to the ball in the air. After camp, he toured the school and did the photo shoot that comes with an unofficial visit. Taylor’s coach described him as Jabari Greer, who he coached in Jackson, TN, when we visited with Taylor on our state tour last month.