RECRUITING: Strength Not A Problem For Taylor

Many interior linemen need a redshirt year to build the necessary strength for competition against players who have had the luxury of working out in a collegiate program. Strength doesn't appear to be a problem for Gwynn Park (MD) defensive lineman Phillip Taylor, who bench presses 475 and runs a 5.06 forty.

(Phillip Taylor profile)

Taylor (6-5, 330) said that the Gwynn Park program has established a consistent program for strength and conditioning. He has been a part of it for a few years now. He did say that he has heard the questions about steroid use, but shrugs them off.

"We have a top notch strength program here," Taylor said. "Our coaches are excellent, and they work us hard. I get the steroids comment once in awhile. I'm steroid free. There's no use in doing that if you work hard."

Gwynn Park currently sports a 1-0 record with a 39-6 defeat of Annapolis (MD). Taylor said that he made five or six tackles and two sacks. He also plays offensive line, where he estimated that he had ten to fifteen pancake blocks.

He is also busy with recruiting, where he says he is playing it by ear until he visits his favorite schools.

"I would say my favorites are Maryland, Penn State, and Virginia Tech," Taylor said. "But, I also like Florida, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Those are the schools that I've narrowed my list down to. I would like to visit each of those schools. I do plan on checking out the Florida-Tennessee game this weekend. That does interest me."

MARYLAND: "It's close to home. Really, it's in my backyard. I'm close to everybody there. I know the whole team. There are one or two of my former teammates there, and there are probably two guys from our team going there next year. They are my lean for now."

PENN STATE: "I really like the coaching staff there. They have good facilities from what I hear. I know Derek Williams."

VIRGINIA TECH: "They are the ACC Champs. That means something. They also get a lot of guys into the (NFL) league. They recruit athletes like Vick, who will be very good. Coach Ball is a great guy."

FLORIDA: "They didn't sign any big defensive linemen this past year. That means there is an opportunity for me. I've always been looking at Florida. I just like to sit down and watch them. I like Coach Gonzales. He seems like a hard working, dedicated guy who doesn't have a problem telling you the truth. He told me that if I come there and want to play, I would have to work hard and earn it. They don't give you anything."

OKLAHOMA: "They are the only school recruiting me as an offensive lineman. That's fine with me. Whatever is best for the team is fine. They have one of the best lines in the country. They also have a great running back who will need somebody to block for him."

TENNESSEE: "They always have a good line. John Henderson of the Jacksonville Jaguars went there. They have great defensive tackles. I've heard great things about their facilities."

Taylor said that he enjoys relaxing off the field and especially enjoys humor. His favorite comedian is Bernie Mac.

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