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January 11, 2012

Tulsa lands JC tight end

Tulsa is looking to fill the last few spots in its 2012 football recruiting class, and they made quick work of their most recent commitment. Phoenix (Ariz.) College tight end Taylor Grove sent his film to TU just before their bowl game and committed a couple weeks later.

"Taylor is a tremendous kid," said Phoenix CC head coach Land Jacobsen. "He's from the top high school in Arizona, Chandler Hamilton, which would be like Jenks or Union there in Oklahoma. He is currently 242 pounds but can be 265 and not lose any ability.

"The week before TU's bowl game, I sent film to Tulsa, but they were involved in the bowl game. I was dealing with (Tulsa assistant coach) Scott Downing. He did a tremendous job. He was very conscientious and followed through on everything."

After Tulsa returned from their bowl game, they got a good look at Grove and extended a scholarship offer. The 6-foot-5 athlete was also involved with Memphis, San Diego State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

"Texas Tech loved him last spring, but they didn't follow through and offer him," said Jacobsen. "He took a trip to Memphis, and he was a hair away from being offered at San Diego State.

"Oklahoma's entire staff watched him, and they said he caught the ball better than they thought he would. He is physical enough to be a very good blocking tight end, and that's what he'll do, he'll hit you in the mouth."

Grove will finish up a couple of classes this semester before joining Tulsa in the summer.

"This kid can get in any place. He was one of my top two kids academically," Coach Jacobsen explained. "He's a great kid. He's got to take care of a couple classes to satisfy entrance requirements, and Tulsa will get him on June 1st.

"He'll do a great job for Tulsa. He works hard and is very, very coachable and a tough kid. He can catch the ball, but what has hurt him is that he's not a vertical threat. He's not a 4.7 or 4.6 guy. Grove is a great kid, and he'll be a great plus at TU. He's got great character, and he'll be a real good addition."

Grove only played in a few games last season due to injury, but did catch six passes for 66 yards.

"He got hurt in the first game," Jacobsen explained. "He had a grade two tear of his hamstring, so we lost him for about four or five games, and then we got him back. In the last two games, I was thinking, man, if we had this kid all year, we're a totally different football team.

"If he played like he can play all year, he's probably going to a big-time place, just because 6-5, 240-pound tight ends are in demand. I think it's a great plus for him, going to a very good academic institution that's been successful and has played in bowls, and has a guy like (head coach) Bill Blankenship."

Tulsa currently has 21 commitments in the 2012 class.



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