In-State DE Trips to Virginia Tech

South Stanly DE Justin Taylor has seen his recruiting stock take off over the last few weeks. This past weekend he was at Virginia Tech and talks about the Hokies along with the other schools he hopes to visit in the coming months.

Virginia Tech received a visit from 6-3 1/2, 220-pound South Stanly (Norwood, N.C.) defensive end prospect Justin Taylor on Saturday. Of the Division 1A programs that have offered, Virginia Tech is the first to receive a visit from the talented athlete. How did it go?

"I felt pretty good about it. I liked it," said Taylor, who was accompanied by his mother, uncle and coach.

Taylor arrived during the morning session of Virginia Tech's first senior camp. He stayed through the rest of camp before meeting with the coaches and receiving a tour of the campus.

"It was very nice," Taylor said. "I liked the facilities and the school."

Head coach Frank Beamer and defensive line coach Charley Wiles particularly stood out to Taylor.

"I liked him a lot," Taylor said of Coach Beamer. "I feel like what he was telling me was the truth."

Of Coach Wiles, he said, "I don't know much about the defense, but I like the D-line coach. I feel like he would be a good coach for me. He would be able to make me a better player."

Taylor also took advantage of an opportunity to speak with Virginia Tech recruits and players. He spoke with rising senior defensive tackle commitment Nick Acree and defensive end Zack McCray, who had committed to Tech earlier in the day. Player-wise, he spoke with offensive tackle Ed Wang and defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins.

"Wang was telling me that they take care of you there," Taylor said. "He was telling me about how you have to stay on campus as a freshman and everything. He said they look out for you."

Auburn, East Carolina and N.C. State have also offered Taylor, who has only played one season of high school football. Playing only basketball for the first two years of high school, the talented rising senior decided to give football a try this year.

The decision certainly seems to have been a good one.

"As the season went on, I felt I did pretty well," Taylor said, recalling last season's performance. "I played defensive end and did a little tight end. I was also on special teams on the kick-off team. College coaches have told me they like how I keep going after the play and the way I change direction real quick. They liked how fast I got up and down the field on kick-off coverage."

Taylor is now trying to figure out where he wants to continue his football career and education. He hopes to make a commitment sometime this summer, but he'll make a few more visits first.

"I'm trying to visit ECU, UNC and N.C. State," said Taylor, who told the Tech coaches that he plans to make a decision this summer. "I think I'm going to try to visit Auburn. All of them have offered except for UNC."

Taylor grew up a UNC basketball fan and seems impressed by Virginia Tech, but for now he names no favorites.

"I don't really have a favorite right now because Virginia Tech is the only one I've had a chance to visit."


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