By Grace Remington, Sports Editor
Miami University cornerback Marshall Taylor decided to transfer to Auburn University over the weekend. One visit to the Auburn campus was enough to sway the redshirt junior to commit on the spot and cancel his visits to Michigan State and University of Florida.
Auburn’s status, his relationship with defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff and his childhood friend, current Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams, persuaded Taylor to make the quick switch, he said in an interview with AL.com.
“I’m done,” Taylor told AL.com. “I’m a Tiger. I’m done.”
The 6-foot-2, 199-pound corner was a standout during his freshman year at Miami. He led all freshmen with 40 tackles and started five of the 11 games in which he played.
He redshirted the next year, but started all 12 games of the 2014 season alongside current Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins. He totaled 30 tackles, one interception and nine pass breakups.
Last season, he played in 11 games, starting 10. He totaled 39 tackles and two interceptions, including a pick-six against Akron University. He had a collegiate career-high nine tackles against University of Wisconsin early in the season.
The Cordele, G.A. native graduates from Miami in May and is eligible to play for Auburn this fall.
Though the absence of Jonathan Jones and Blake Countess leave openings in the Auburn secondary, Taylor faces stiff competition for the starting position. Redshirt freshman Jamel Dean hasn’t played a snap of college football yet, but is moving up the Auburn depth chart after transferring from Ohio State. He’s competing with fellow redshirt freshman Javaris Davis for the starting spot. Freshman John Broussard is also catching the eyes of coaches.
As for the RedHawks’ secondary, there are several players who could fill the hole Taylor leaves behind.
Redshirt junior Heath Harding is participating in spring practice after missing most of the 2015 season with an injury, and Ole Miss defensive back Tee Shepard will transfer to Miami this summer to complete his final year of eligibility. Head coach Chuck Martin also signed four defensive backs on national signing day in February.