Miami Palmetto five-star defensive lineman Leonard Taylor is down to two schools.
Taylor, who 247Sports ranks as the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle prospect, put Florida and Miami in his “final two” on Monday. He previously had Tennessee, Auburn and LSU on his short list of favorites and has had his name linked to Alabama and Georgia.
“I have good connection with the coaches [at Florida] and I feel like I would get a great education there,” Taylor told 247Sports while confirming that he plans to make a decision before or during the Early Signing Period. “Miami is close to home and the coaches show me mad love everyday. I feel like my education would also be great there with their program.”
UF has long been considered the team to beat for Taylor which is why the 247Sports’ Crystal Ball currently reads 100 percent in favor of the Gators, but UM has found some footing ever since the NCAA put a temporary recruiting dead period in place.
“They told me that I can play early because they got some seniors now,” Taylor said back in June while discussing the Hurricanes. “They also said that I can get  the number, and that’s I want … I want to play right away. I’m not the type of player that’s going to sit on the bench.”
Taylor has been talking with a number of staffers in Coral Gables.
“I got a good connection with [defensive line Todd Stroud],” Taylor said. “That’s my guy right there. He’s funny. Same with [assistant director of recruiting David Cooney]. All of the coaches show me love and good vibes.”
While it appears that Miami is giving Taylor plenty to think about, it should be noted that Taylor has spent plenty of time in Gainesville over the past two years.
“Basically when I walk on campus it’s like a whole bunch of love,” Taylor said of the Gators. “All the coaches love me. It’s all great vibes. [UF defensive line coach David Turner], that’s the guy right there. He helps me out with my technique and form and all that. I went to [Friday Night Lights] and I dominated because he showed me a couple of moves that I could use and I used them and killed almost every opponent there.”
Taylor is coming off a junior season in which he totaled 68 tackles and 11 sacks.