NC DE Rising on the Recruiting Scene

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(Steve Williams writes for, a website powered by

Norwood (N.C.) South Stanly defensive end Justin Taylor looked raw at this past Saturday’s invite-only combine held at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane (N.C.); however, that’s understandable considering he doesn’t have a lot of experience working out at combines. In fact, the 2009 season will be just his second as a football player after focusing almost exclusively on basketball.

Despite the lack of experience on the gridiron, the 6-4, 220 pounder has racked up quite a bit of college interest after recently sending out copies of his junior film.

“I know I’ve got offers from Auburn, N.C. State and Virginia Tech. I’ve been talking to them, too. I’ve also got offers from Arkansas (first to offer), Western Carolina and Louisville,” Taylor said. “It feels really good to get these offers. I thank God for them. My family is real happy about me getting them.”

N.C. State recently threw their hat in the ring when tight ends coach Jim Bridge informed the staff at South Stanly that Taylor had landed a Wolfpack offer. Taylor will likely visit State over the summer and seems fond of the Wolfpack program.

“I like N.C. State. I knew a player from Albemarle (TA McLendon) that went there. I’ve seen him a few times and he was telling me about them,” Taylor said.

Two of the schools that will likely pose the stiffest challenge for Taylor will be Virginia Tech and UNC. While the Hokies have offered, Carolina would like to see him in camp before they decide on an offer. Regardless, the Heels are still a solid player for his commitment should they decide to offer down the road.

“I like Virginia Tech and UNC,” said Taylor. “I want to be sort of close to home and not too far away. Carolina has told me they would like to see me at camp. I’m also planning to go to Virginia Tech. I would say those two are probably staying in touch with me the most right now.”

As for a favorites list, Taylor hasn’t quite settled on his top schools just yet. However, he’s hoping that a few unofficial visits will help him prepare to get his decision out of the way before the start of the 2009 season.

“I don’t have favorites quite yet,” Taylor said. “Hopefully I can make a decision over the summer so I won’t have to worry about it during