DALTON, Ga. - College coaches from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and Virginia Tech, among others, have been calling Dalton High School over the past few months about a hot recruit -- and it has nothing to do with football.
The Catamounts' Taylor Dale, one of the top-ranked 18-under swimmers in the country, has been the subject of a hot recruiting battle that came to an end Wednesday when he committed to stay in state at the University of Georgia.
"I really liked the coaches and when I visited I felt like I was part of a family," said Dale, who also had offers from Kentucky and Purdue and who had recently narrowed his choices to UGA, Alabama and Virginia Tech. "I liked how everyone was friendly and welcoming.
"They have a good coaching staff and a couple of swimmers that have made Olympic teams. They know how to get people to the next level, and that's my goal, to make the Olympic team."
Among Dale's many accolades are a top-20 ranking among 18-under swimmers in the world in the 100-meter backstroke, where he also ranks in the top 50 at any age. He is a two-time Georgia state prep champion, and holds the state butterfly record at 48.55, as well as an individual winner in the 100 backstroke at this year's Junior National Championships in Indianapolis.
"I'm really happy for Taylor," said Charles Todd, Dale's prep and summer swim coach. "It was a tough decision for him, but I think he made a good one. Georgia has had an excellent recruiting class and they have great coaches."