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Four-star linebacker Tyler Taylor picks LSU

Taylor Tyler talking to reporters after taking an official visit to Auburn Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.
Taylor Tyler talking to reporters after taking an official visit to Auburn Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Tyler Taylor picked LSU over SEC rival Auburn and Oklahoma Wednesday morning. Good Day Atlanta broadcast Taylor’s decision from the College Football Hall of Fame.

With five open scholarship spots, it was a rough start for Auburn on national signing day.

The 4-star linebacker would have given Auburn another high-profile player at the position alongside Oxford’s Kenney Britt, North Cobb’s Chandler Wooten and Jackson-Olin’s Tadarian Moultry.

All three players are rated 4-star prospects by 247 Sports.

The Georgia prospect out of Lanier High School is a former teammate of Derrick Brown. The two spent time together when Taylor made an official visit to the Plains in mid-January.

Brown largely avoided talking to Taylor about the recruiting process until the two were on campus together.

“This week he was putting it on,” Taylor said during his visit. “It was fun.”

Taylor praised Auburn’s coaching staff — “they kept it 100 with me” — but LSU had an advantage with a clearer path to the field.

“They really need linebackers, I really have no choice but not to play there,” Taylor said of LSU.

The only player Auburn is losing from its linebacker corps is grad transfer T.J. Neal.

Three of Auburn’s veteran linebackers — Deshaun Davis, Darrell Williams and Montavius Atkinson — all have two years of eligibility remaining.

Auburn now turns its attention to Crisp County defensive lineman Markaviest Bryant, a four-star defensive lineman out of Crisp County High School in Georgia.

Bryant is set to announce his decision from a short list of finalists — Auburn, Georgia and LSU — at 12:30 p.m.

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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