National Signing Day started fast. The 2020 Rice Football recruiting class officially includes defensive back Gabe Taylor, the highest-rated signee in program history.
The 2020 Rice Football recruiting class started off National Signing Day with a bang. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Gulliver Prep cornerback Gabe Taylor signed with the Owls. A three-star prospect, Taylor brings with him the distinction of becoming the highest-rated recruit in Rice football program history.
Head coach Mike Bloomgren made a statement in 2019 when he landed St. John Bosco wideout Jake Bailey. The star member of that group, Bailey was the sixth-highest rated player to sign with the Owls. Now Bloomgren and the Rice recruiting staff have raised the bar.
More than just a high ranking recruit, Taylor carries with him a well-known bloodline. Gabe is the younger brother of former Miami star safety Sean Taylor. He’s seen what excellence looks like in person and now he’s ready to ply that craft on his own.
The younger Taylor joins a Rice secondary in the midst of a dramatic improvement. Backed up by a host of ball-hawking safeties, the Owls were looking for defenders capable of winning one-on-one battles on the outside.
Taylor can cover. That’s was the expectation of any defensive back Rice was going to sign in this class. More than that, he has impeccable awareness and vision on the field. There’s a reason his senior season highlights show interception after interception after interception (there were 10, six of which he returned for touchdowns). Rice had six picks in 12 games last season.
He’s a game-changer, and someone the Owls will rely on to make plays on the next level. Although you’ll see a lot of safety on his film, Taylor likely profiles as a corner when he makes the jump to college ball, but he could stick at safety as well.