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Did AU’s Taylor Use Ex-UT Wideout To Recruit For Auburn?

There are some angry folks in the foothills of the Smokies today.  Word has gotten out in East Tennessee that Auburn receivers coach Trooper Taylor might have used at least one former Tennessee player to help him recruit defensive tackle prospect Gabe Wright to The Plains.

On signing day, Wright chose Auburn over Tennessee in a tight recruiting battle.  The player said his decision basically came down to a coin flip.  But perhaps he put that coin into a pay phone and contacted a former Vol for advice.

Taylor — one of Rivals.com’ 25 best recruiters in the nation this year — served at Tennessee under Phillip Fulmer so he would have connections to a few Vol seniors who were holdovers from his days in Knoxville.  Former Vol receiver Gerald Jones would be one of those holdovers.  His name quickly came up in the Taylor-Wright rumors.  Today, he told the Rivals site VolQuest.com that he did talk to a recruit, but that he said only good things about Tennessee.


“I got a call a week or so ago from a kid,” Jones said.  “I don’t know who gave him my number but I didn’t talk down about anyone.  I actually gave several positives about Tennessee, like Coach (Charlie) Baggett.  I just told the truth about what I know about Tennessee and Troop.  At the end of the day that kid made the decision (that) was best for him.  Anyone that wants to criticize me about a rumor needs to look themselves in the mirror.  I know what I said and it was all positive.”


Jones also appeared on WNOX-FM in Knoxville today:

“I just found out that he had made the decision to (go to) Auburn, wasn’t aware of it, and (Wednesday) I heard that (and) it sounds like I persuaded him to go there.  Let me get this clear right now — I didn’t.  I actually despise people who try to persuade these kids to try to go to certain places.”

He also said that he didn’t “have anything negative to say about Tennessee. … I would say when we got off the phone I hadn’t helped him at all, because I said a lot of good stuff about Auburn and a lot of good stuff about Tennessee — no negative because I don’t have any animosity to either school. … The positive stuff I said about Auburn is very limited, it’s stating the obvious.  More than anything I told him about Troop, that he’s a good guy, a loyal guy, and he’s going to shoot you straight.  Just as I will.”

Jones played his final game for Tennessee in December’s Music City Bowl.  Many UT fans are wondering just how the recruit (Wright) got the phone number for a former Vol receiver (Jones) and why he would call him out of the blue… if Taylor hadn’t served as the go-between.

If Taylor did use Jones to help him recruit Wright it is not likely a violation of any NCAA rule.  Now, would it be unethical?  Well, that’s another question.  And you’ll likely get two completely different answers from Tiger fans and Vol fans.

Wright was a four-star defensive tackle from Columbus, Georgia.

 


14 comments
ISnoreROCKYTOP
ISnoreROCKYTOP

I'm as loyal as they come to the University of Tennessee. I came home from the hospital in a UT Onesey and Graduated from the hill in 2009. Honestly this is MALARKEY. I don't know how anyone could question Gerald Jones' dedication to the program after all he did on the field and leadership that he provided to a stumbling program through three head coaches and ultimately 4 football schemes in his playing time. As for Trooper Taylor unethical is not worthy in this case. There are things that happen in recruiting every year all over the country that are far worse than being resourceful. Trooper is a great football coach and as he has shown a more than capable recruiter. His on the field emotion and aggressiveness transpire into every player he coaches and that is something not everybody can has the ability to bring to a program. As for dogging Trooper guys come on look at what he did when he was in Knoxville we pounded the football and pounded out some running backs that is SEC Football and if you want to call somebody unethical talk about Ed Orgeron. The man wrote a book called "Meat Market". Personally with the staff we have in Knoxville now and the man (Derrick Dooley) working to keep it classy by monitoring his program, I think Trooper's emotion and coaching style is the missing element for this young team. Bring him back!!! GO BIG ORANGE!!!!

$$RANGER$$
$$RANGER$$

Trooper Taylor is garbage and so is auburn and Tennessee. Auburns NC was tainted and Tennessee sucks and will continue to suck its that simple. Auburn has already asked trooper to leave according to numerous sites because they know all the recruiting violations he has. He's been run out of every place and Auburn is the next one. He is a conniving, manipulative fool. Auburn is about to face serious NCAA investigations regarding the Kouandjio recruitment because of what they did and there is pictures to prove it. You may not believe this but i guarantee its true. They even told his parents not to come with him on his visit the weekend before signing day. Kouandjio's father already told sources he is going to reveal the case. I have alot of pleasure saying Auburn's future is very dark and i cant wait to see the probation they get.

wiltoneagle
wiltoneagle

shinman needs to find out the truth about TT's cap being worn backwards. It has to do with his father who has passed away.It takes a real low person to demean someone for doing something he doesn't like. This type of person thinks they are so much better than everyone else.You are a very stupid and full of yourself. War Damn Eagle rocky top boy.

Trooperstrooops
Trooperstrooops

AU wants kids to explore other schools and make sure AU is the place they want to come. Of course we wanted Wright, but if he had chosen UT, big deal..As for Wright, you want to know details on TT, cal a former player. No better source than that right....Relax folks

David
David

If the kid doesn't know Jones, then why would his recommendation of Taylor mean anything? "Hey, call this guy, he'll say nice stuff about me." Um, ok.

The only possibly relevant information for Wright in that call would be information relative to UT. Perhaps Taylor hoped Jones would dis the current regime, and perhaps Jones declined on that front. But the only reason Taylor put Wright in touch with Jones was the hope that Jones would have something negative to say about the direction of the program. That's fairly obvious.

large Orange
large Orange

I am glad Trooper is no longer here. He is such a guy looking out for himself however he can. A me guy not a school guy very much like Lane Kiffin.

justscratchin
justscratchin

I think the media is much more excited about this than the Vol fans.

AMV4UT
AMV4UT

Sorry, know not now.

AMV4UT
AMV4UT

I am a huge UT fan and I really see this as a nonissue. Of course Gerald had good things to say about both UT and Trooper. Folks here in Knoxville bring up Trooper's name anytime there is a coaching vacancy. Is it really any different than if a prized QB recruit called Peyton Manning and was asked about how he felt about Coach Cutcliff? I think we all now how that one would go.

Leedawg
Leedawg

Trooper Taylor? Unethical? Nooooooooooooooooooo

Driving_Ms_Dooley
Driving_Ms_Dooley

Trooper doesn't have a lot of support in Knoxville after the BS he pulled over trying to sue a local football coach because the guy was making Troopers son cut his long hair. Troops kid had an attitude problem and Troop showed his lack of class and attempted to litigate. I have nothing against Gerald Jones. He's been a good player and has done is job at UT. Unless there is a recording of this reported conversation, this is a dead issue.

Note to JOHN PENNINGTON: You need to get more facts before stirring the pot. We have enough trouble in VolNation without this "hear-say".

Alan
Alan

You are a very misinformed fan. The Volnation is mad as hell and they should be.

Ben
Ben

How is this stirring the pot? It is all over the radio here in Knoxville. Heck, Jones had already done 2 radio shows before John even posted his article. I

Note to Driving_Ms_Dooley: RELAX it is just football.

Ben
Ben

Oh and the lawsuit was in Auburn so why would people in Knoxville be upset about that?

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