The Miami Sack Exchange

This Florida high school standout's sack total is catching the attention of many college recruiters.

Miami, Fla.--Taurean Charles did not play much football growing up as a youngster. He says he was the big kid who always needed to lose weight, but didn't want to. However, that all changed when Charles started playing junior varsity football for Northwestern High School.

Almost four years later, he is now six-foot-three, weighs 235 pounds and is a senior defensive end who wreaks havoc on opposing team's quarterbacks and has college coaches across the country wanting him to come play at their schools.

Taurean Charles

Wreaking havoc may be an understatement of what Charles is actually doing to other schools' quarterbacks. He currently leads the state of Florida with 20 sacks and has 55 tackles through his team's first seven games.

"Being strong and having speed, I basically widen out a little bit," Charles says of his defensive approach. "Most offensive tackles are big down here, some of them are big like the guy (6-9, 310 Max Giles) from Coral Gables. I really don't power rush anybody, I just use my speed and quickness, do a quick move, get around them and sack the quarterback."

Charles has set up three visits to schools which are all outside the state of Florida. He says early playing time is a factor in his decision and that is likely a reason he is looking past the sunshine state's borders. "I have visits to N.C. State, Rutgers and Auburn," Charles tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I got along pretty good with the coaches from those schools, the defensive coordinators, the head coach and basically I like their style of football, their defensive strategies and how they put their ends and linebackers in position to make big plays. Most of those schools are playing a lot of young guys who are seeing a lot of playing time."

A two-year starter for his high school, Charles says he likes the excitement of big crowds and just knowing that colleges want him to come play for them also gives him a thrill. "All this hype, with me being someone actually wanted by them to come to their school to try to make a difference, to make them better or just be a part of their program, that excites me a lot."

Auburn has been interested in Charles since his junior season when running backs coach Eddie Gran went to one of his practices last spring. The interest is mutual. "I like Auburn football," Charles notes. "I've been watching them play some of their games, especially the big one against Florida. I liked the way their ends got up the field and some of them were seniors and that will open up some opportunities for me."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Besides having impressive numbers on the playing field, Charles also stacks up well in the weight room. He bench presses 390 pounds and squats 405...Charles says he prefers to play defensive end in college, but notes that he could also play outside linebacker...He is also on Northwestern's track and field team. His events include the 4 x 100-meter relay and the shot put.

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