The LSU Football program reached commitment No. 16 with Saint Thomas Aquinas tight end Mason Taylor joining the fold. Here’s an evaluation of skills.
It’s good to recruit in Florida, especially when the program in question is famed Saint Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale. That’s the same program that produced numerous NFL players all the way back to Michael Irvin and more recent talent like Joey Bosa.
Additionally, this is the second time in three recruiting classes the Tigers dipped into the Saint Thomas Aquinas talent pool, landing offensive linemen Marcus Dumervil and Marlon Martinez. For the class of 2022, LSU just secured the commitment of a tight end.
Vitals: 6’ 4 ½”, 230-pounds
Position: Tight end
High School: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Saint Thomas Aquinas
Recruitment: Committed to LSU. Choice the Tigers over offers from programs such as Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Miami, West Virginia and Syracuse.
Frame: Taylor provides a classic tight end frame; long legs and balanced weight distribution from the lower half of his body all the way through his shoulders. At his current size, Taylor will be able to add weight as needed. He’s lean and in good shape now, but added mass will be needed, especially if Taylor is to be attached to the line of scrimmage and be an extension of the offensive line in the running game.
As a pass-catching tight end, Taylor does his best work. He’s adept at finding the soft spots in the defense after a play breaks down. As a route runner is more advanced than the vast majority of high school tight ends because he makes definitive cuts and has already begun to understand how to use his 230-pound frame to shield defenders from the football.
Finally, his hands are really good. Even when defenders are swiping at the pass right in front of him, Taylor hauls in passes and turns them into completions.
Yes, Taylor will play tight end. That’s a loose term nowadays with the way spread offenses operate. Saint Thomas Aquinas utilized Taylor as a H-back last fall, often running him behind the line of scrimmage after the snap of the football and catching a pass near the line of scrimmage to get him the football in space. He’s played as an attached tight end and a flex tight end out wide.
Taylor’s overall position flexibility is fantastic. He will be a player that LSU can bring into the lineup and run plays from three different positions, at least, as Taylor could be used as a fullback during short yardage situations as well. Always nice to have a player that’s capable of rotating to different spots within an offense.
That flexibility to play multiple spots also means it will allow Taylor to play at the same time as LSU's other tight end commitment, Jake Johnson. Johnson can also play multiple tight end roles, and that provides the Tigers with different ways to attack the defense, especially with short yardage and/or goal line play calling.
This is the son of NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor, who recorded 139 ½ sacks and was NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 for the Miami Dolphins. The younger Taylor has much to live up to, but he’s done well thus far and has the opportunity to learn from his father as he’s the Saint Thomas Aquinas Defensive Coordinator.
Taylor is a modern tight end. He’s going to play different roles for the Tigers and will be a threat to make plays in the passing game and the running game. There’s ample time to bulk his athletic frame up and improve upon an already talented prospect’s size. He will benefit the LSU Football program in a multitude of ways.