Five Schools Stand Out To Taylor

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Taylor and Bruce Smith at Tech's 2014 Spring Game
Taylor and Bruce Smith at Tech’s 2014 Spring Game

Five schools have edged out above the rest to Hopewell (VA) rising senior defensive end Darrell Taylor, who appears to be in no rush to make his college choice.

“Darrell told me there are five schools he really likes. He has not eliminated the others, but the schools he really likes are Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Ohio State,” Hopewell head coach Ricky Irby said. “He talked to Shane Beamer [yesterday]. He talked to Tennessee [yesterday]. He doesn’t really want to commit until he takes his officials. These are probably the five schools he’ll take official visits to.”

According to his coach, Taylor very likely will be in Blacksburg for Virginia Tech’s season opener against William & Mary (this would be an unofficial visit). He has visited Virginia Tech before, but he has yet to see a regular season game atmosphere. Taylor has also visited Ohio State and Tennessee but has yet to see Florida and South Carolina.

Taylor’s recruitment blew up this offseason once college coaches caught a glimpse of his impressive combination of size, athleticism and speed. At 6’4”, 227 pounds, Taylor has gained about 15 to 20 pounds of muscle but has maintained his outstanding speed.

“He is more of a leader this year,” Irby said of Taylor. “As a senior now and one of the older players on the team, he is setting an example for the younger guys. He is so much bigger and stronger, yet he is still just as fast. Another good thing about Darrell is he has got a great defensive line coach. [Former Virginia Tech and NFL defensive tackle Jonathan] Lewis is coaching with us now. He is teaching in the building and teaching the D-line. He’s a good guy, not just for the team but for our school.”

Coach Irby is optimistic about his young team’s chances this coming season. Taylor will play wide receiver and a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive