Recruiting & Scouting

Beecher defensive back commits to Cornell, PSL stars could make college choice soon

Football   | Scott Burnstein

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Flint - Flint Beecher football star Jelani Taylor will soon be making the jump from the streets of Flint to the halls of a prestigious Ivy League school.

Taylor, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back-receiver, committed to Cornell last week.

He’s a four-year varsity letter-winner under coach Courtney Hawkins, the former NFL receiver and Michigan State Spartan. The consummate student-athlete, Taylor sports a 4.0 grade-point average. Projected to play in the secondary at the college level, Taylor intends on majoring in business finance at Cornell.

“I don’t get Bs,” he said. “Academics and athletics are one in the same for me, I compete aggressively in both. I strive to be the best in everything I do.”

His intelligence on and off the field impresses Hawkins.

“We rely a lot on him as a team, he makes all our defensive calls,” Hawkins said. “One day, we’re probably all going to be working for this guy, that’s the kind of kid he is.”

As a junior last season, Taylor had 80 tackles and four interceptions from his safety position, and on offense he had four touchdown receptions.

Beecher was undefeated during the regular season in 2014 and the Bucs and Taylor are off and running again this fall. Beecher is 4-0 and, with Taylor anchoring the defense, the Bucs have two shutouts and given up 23 points.

Allen Trieu of Scout.com likes what he’s sees in Taylor and is a fan of his college choice.

“Jelani is a very good all-around player,” he said. “The intelligence is obviously there. He’s physical, he has strong on-ball skills, (and) he’s instinctive. I think he has a chance to be a great player in the Ivy League.”

In other statewide college football recruiting news, Trieu says look for Detroit King receiver Donnie Corley, Jr., and Detroit Renaissance offensive lineman Alaric Jackson to possibly commit to schools before the end of the season. And look for Farmington linebacker and Michigan-commit David Reese to possibly garner additional FBS offers in the coming weeks.

Corley (6-3, 185) is a four-star prospect and was named State Champs’ No. 1 player entering the 2015 season. He holds almost three dozen scholarship offers from power-conference programs. Jackson (6-7, 285) is a three-star recruit and has nearly a dozen power-conference scholarship offers. Corley’s finalists are Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia and West Virginia. Jackson is said to be leaning toward Michigan State, Nebraska or Oklahoma.

Reese (6-2, 240) de-committed from Louisville once he got his Michigan scholarship offer in the spring. In addition to U-M, Reese holds five other FBS scholarship offers (Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, Pittsburgh and Maryland). Trieu is hearing that a series of higher profile power-conference schools are showing increasing interest in Reese, a barrel-chested and fast inside linebacker, and could come into the picture with offers soon.