Family, state pride have Alontae Taylor at Tennessee for one more season

Tennessee Athletics photo by Kate Luffman / Tennessee cornerback Alontae Taylor did not allow a touchdown reception in 234 coverage snaps last season.

Tennessee senior cornerback Alontae Taylor admits he wasn't exactly aces at Volunteer State geography as a youngster growing up in Manchester, the county seat of Coffee County.

"I didn't know where Chattanooga was for the longest time, and I didn't realize it was closer than I thought," the 6-foot, 193-pounder said. "I always thought Chattanooga was as far away as Knoxville - like two or three hours - but Chattanooga can be less than an hour drive. I've been there several times to go to UTC and see some of my friends.

"It's a good vacation spot."

Taylor's knowledge of Tennessee has grown through the years along with his love for the state, and those factors played a role in his decision to suit up one final season for the Volunteers. Last year's 3-7 collapse in Jeremy Pruitt's third and tumultuous season as coach followed by January's revelation that a university investigation had uncovered NCAA Level I and II violations resulted in a mass exodus from Knoxville via the NCAA transfer portal.