East Robertson rising sophomore Taylor Groves didn’t stay a secret for long.
The receiver and defensive back has watched his recruitment take off in recent months. Groves currently has four offers – Kentucky, Mississippi State, Murray State and Tennessee – and plenty more on the way.
“Pretty much every SEC school knows who he is and where he’s at,” East Robertson coach Atlee Pond said after spring practice in May.
Groves burst onto the scene by hauling in 42 receptions for 776 yards as a freshman in 2018. He also caught eight touchdowns and ran for an additional 280 yards and four scores.
Last October, Shavez Jobe and Mo Thompson of On Top Athletics sent Groves’ highlight tape to Kentucky. The Wildcat coaching staff was impressed and offered him just days before his freshman season ended in a 35-13 playoff loss at Tyner Academy November 2.
“It was very surprising,” Groves said. “I didn’t think I’d pick up an SEC offer that early.”
Though his high school career is still young, Groves said Tennessee, which offered him May 10, has made the biggest impression so far. He grew up watching Volunteer football and said he likes the idea of playing in his home state.
“I’m from here, [Tennessee] is my home,” Groves said. “I really like it [in Knoxville]. The coaches really cared, and it seemed like a place where I could play college ball in the future. It really looked good.”
Groves got to meet coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff during a recent visit to Knoxville.
“Coach Pruitt seems like an amazing guy and an amazing coach,” Groves said. “The offensive coordinator and the assistants… they just seemed like really nice guys.”
Groves doesn’t expect to make his college decision until his season year. He is planning to take visits to Purdue, Georgia, LSU and Clemson later this summer.
Pond said Groves will be a leader on both sides of the ball for the Indians. In addition to his receiving duties, Groves starts at free safety.
“He played well on defense in pass coverage and coming up and playing the run [during spring practice],” Pond said. “He gets a lot of attention at receiver, but he could be just as good of a safety.”
East Robertson lost starting quarterback Cameron Swift to an ACL injury in early May. But Groves said he still has high expectations for the team.
“We want to make it to the playoffs and win a playoff game this year,” he said.