Willie Taylor was a first year varsity starter at quarterback for Cary (NC) Green Hope last year. He was only a sophomore so that leaves two years to build on the successes he had during his 2016 debut.
Taylor (6-1, 170) played in eight games completing 53% of his passes (63/119) for 949 total passing yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions last year. Those are modest numbers but Taylor was young and inexperienced. He was also working with an offense that should be improved over the next couple of years. More a threat to pass than run, Taylor has drawn interest from East Carolina, North Carolina and Old Dominion. He has visited ECU and ODU.
No school has shown as much interest as NC State and Taylor has visited the school twice. His first trip to NC State was for the football team's game against Old Dominion. That was "a great trip," in Taylor's words, "because the atmosphere was great and it was good to see what a game up there is like."
Taylor and his family are friends with Gavin Locklear and his family. The former Apex star football player is with the Wolfpack now.
Taylor's second visit to NC State was a couple weeks ago when he was "just hanging out with coach Kitchings and the quarterbacks coach."
"We got to talk 1 on 1 a little and they showed me some film against Vanderbilt. I went to look at the weight room facility and it was just a really good time to get up there and talk to some of the coaches. They came to see me at school not last Tuesday but the Tuesday before that."
NC State has not offered and Taylor does not know how much interest the coaches have in him although he was pleased with the amount of time they spent with him on a recent visit.
"Most of the coaches follow me on Twitter and they have talked to me a lot but they haven't told me how much interest they have or anything like that. I hope it's a lot. I love State. It's close to home. I like the blue collar mentality there. I think it's a good school academically and I think it's a very good football program that's on the rise."
Green Hope lost in the first round of the playoffs in Taylor's first year as the varsity team's starting quarterback.
Taylor said he loves throwing to Blake Watson, a 2018 wide receiver at Green Hope. The numbers don't lie. Watson had 40 catches for 666 yards and nine touchdowns in 2016 so he accounted for most of the team's receiving yards and touchdowns. The duo has one more season together this fall before Watson goes off to college somewhere. Watson has an offer from Old Dominion.