The odds of pulling a highly-rated defensive tackle out of Louisiana and away from the SEC seemed so low that New Orleans (La.) McDonogh 35 prospect Stephon Taylor hasn't been a prominently discussed member of the Texas Longhorns recruiting radar in recent weeks.
But that's all changing late in the process, as the Horns are seemingly trending for the 6'4, 292-pounder -- a Football Brainiacs report says that Taylor will take an official visit to Austin in January and currently has Texas as his leader, according to a source. Similar information might be getting out elsewhere, as an unrelated 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction came in for the Horns late on Monday evening.
Taylor visited Texas last summer and has had the Longhorns in the mix for a while, in part due to his longtime relationship with defensive line coach Brick Haley, who held the same position in Baton Rouge before coming to Texas.
Home-state LSU was considered the favorite throughout the summer in picking up several Crystal Ball predictions and Auburn was also a serious contender for Taylor. It's not entirely clear what is going on with the Bayou Bengals and Taylor, but the departure of Will Muschamp for the heading coaching job with the Gamecocks appears to have elevated that school past the plains version of the Tigers. In fact, Football Brainiacs reports that Taylor will take an official visit to Columbia in January as well.
Taylor also took an official visit to Oklahoma back in October, so the Sooners are likely in the mix, too, but it's hard to tell officially because he never released the top five list that he teased back on December 18.
Even without that list, it seems clear that the January official visit by Taylor to Texas, assuming it does happen, could be one of the most important of the month for the Longhorns as head coach Charlie Strong attempts to land the highly-rated defensive tackle the 2016 recruiting class so desperately needs.