VT Wins Out for Promising DE Justin Taylor

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According to South Stanly (Norwood, N.C.) head coach Luke Little, Justin Taylor ‘s decision to commit to Virginia Tech last week came down to three things. Virginia Tech’s gridiron success was one factor. Location was another. The Tech staff, led by primary recruiter Kevin Sherman, also “did a real good job of recruiting him,” Little says.

“He wanted to be somewhere within three to four hours of home and it really came down to N.C. State and Virginia Tech,” Little said of Taylor, who trekked to Virginia Tech on June 7th. “He visited both schools. His mom went to Virginia Tech. She didn’t get to go to N.C. State. He was going to wait until she could go, but the more he sat and thought the more he wanted to go ahead and commit. His mom liked Virginia Tech. Whether she liked State or not, he felt he was still leaning to Virginia Tech.”

In Taylor, Virginia Tech gets a 6-3 1/2, 220-pound prospect with good athleticism and potential as a defensive end and perhaps as a linebacker. Taylor only played high school basketball up until his junior year, when, having been prodded by Coach Little for a year, he decided to suit up for the varsity football squad and helped South Stanly to a 9-4 overall record last season.

“With Justin not knowing football, we put him at quick end and he got better and better,” said Little, who admittedly wasn’t sure if Taylor would play football this past season. “He was by far our best special teams player.”

Taylor impressed college coaches on film and also performed well in combines this spring, earning scholarship offers from Arkansas, Auburn, East Carolina, Kentucky, N.C. State and Virginia Tech before pledging to Frank Beamer and company last Wednesday.

“[College coaches] see a long, athletic guy that has a real good motor,” Little said. “He doesn’t stop. In his film, there are a lot of hustle plays and effort plays. Obviously, he is going to get a lot better. He has only been in the weight room for a half year to a year, so he has a lot of upside.”

Virginia Tech is recruiting Taylor to play defensive end, although Coach Little believes linebacker could easily be a possibility for his talented standout. In fact, Little plans to play Taylor at linebacker this upcoming season.