Wait Pays Off for Taylor

A week ago, Monte Taylor had no idea what he'd be doing on National Signing Day. Now, he's officially a Tar Heel.

"It feels real good to know where I'm actually going to school and to be a Tar Heel," Taylor said.

Taylor, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from Springdale (Md.) Flowers, had considered UNC his leader for much of his recruitment – and nearly committed during an early fall visit. But when Larry Fedora was hired in December, the situation became unclear.

"I couldn't really get in touch with them as much, because I didn't have the coaches [phone] numbers," Taylor said. "So I just had to wait and pray that North Carolina would get back in touch with me."

Two weeks ago, Taylor received his first phone call from a UNC coach, under Fedora's regime.

"They said they were still interested," Taylor said. "They saw my film and I sent them my [transcripts] and they said they would get back to me."

Late last week, UNC contacted Taylor about scheduling an official visit for the weekend of Jan. 27.

"I just dropped everything and made the visit," Taylor said.

During the official visit, Taylor was brought into Fedora's office, where the plan of placing Taylor at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy to improve his academics was discussed.

"Basically, he said I had to go to Hargrave for the [fall] semester," Taylor said. "Once I get my grades up at Hargrave, then I could come to North Carolina in January."

While he would much rather enroll at UNC immediately, Taylor sees the positives of the detour.

"I think it's going to make me a better person in the long run, because not everyone is made to go straight to college," Taylor said. "Some people need that bridge. There are great athletes that are in the NFL that went to Hargrave."

Monte Taylor Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories