Maryland handed out a slew of offers once again Feb. 27, and one of the more intriguing scholarships went out to Hopewell (Va.) defensive end Darrell Taylor, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound hybrid that UMD wants with his hand in the dirt.
"I just think it's great that Maryland offered," said Taylor, who also holds scholarships from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Illinois, ODU and Marshall. "I'm keeping my options open and seeing who is going to offer next, but I'm excited about this one. Maryland had been talking to me for a little while, Coach Chad [Wilt] had been in touch, and he was just waiting for the head coach to pull the trigger… And he [Randy Edsall] finally did [Feb. 27]."
Taylor said he had a brief conversation with Wilt following the offer. The Hopewell product had been in close contact with the Terps new defensive line coach prior to Feb. 27, however.
"Coach Chad has been telling me they really like me and want me at defensive end. He was saying how I have to maintain my grades, be a good person and help my team as well," Taylor said. "He was talking about the school too, and telling me a little about what Maryland has to offer. I know they want me to come to a couple camps in the summer and for a visit this spring, and I'll be setting that up real soon."
Taylor admitted to not having much detailed information on Maryland yet, but the Terps are off to a good start considering Wilt has already made inroads. The Virginia end laughed a little when this reporter asked about Wilt, saying "he's a really excitable, cool guy."
"Coach Chad was actually down here twice to talk to my coach about me," Taylor said. "I think he'll be back during the season to see me play too. He's a really energetic dude, and he just talks a lot about the school, how great the defensive system is and how I could fit in there. I'm definitely going to listen to what he's saying."
Besides getting to know Wilt, Taylor is still learning about the Terps. He is, however, well aware of the Big Ten move and said that's a positive for the university. But there's one aspect of the school he'd really like to see up close in person.
"Those sweet uniforms," Taylor said, chuckling. "The Under Armour stuff. I see it online all the time, those unis are tight."
Maryland is just one of many programs Taylor will be checking out in the coming months. He plans to see College Park, Virginia Tech, Virginia and ODU this spring, and Iowa and Illinois in the summer.
The only school he's seen so far is UVA, which he visited for a basketball game last year, but he'll be back in Charlottesville this weekend for a second trip.
"UVA talks to me a lot. Their coach is telling me he can't wait for me to come up there March 1, eat with the team and watch a good basketball game," Taylor said. "UVA is a great school and it has great academics. I'm definitely looking at them."
While Taylor isn't claiming any early favorites, he said two of his recent offerees have caught his eye "a little." That's subject to change, of course, and undoubtedly will as he secures more offers (he said Ohio State and Michigan State have been in contact) and takes visits, but he does like Iowa and Virginia Tech right now.
"Iowa is standing out a little because it would be cool to see new people and try something new. Going out of state or far away doesn't bother me; I've been in Virginia my whole life, so I wouldn't mind traveling and seeing new places," Taylor said. "And Virginia tech, I have family out that way and my cousin is going there. It would be cool to be near them."
Taylor is coming off a season where he recorded 70 tackles and 14 sacks. He also plays basketball for Hopewell, and considers himself an athletic presence who uses his size-speed combination to his advantage.
Terps Offer Virginia DE, Who Wants to Visit
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