2011 Intro: Brian Taylor

ANGIER, N.C. --- As a starting quarterback, Brian Taylor holds a 27-3 record in his three-year career.

"He's a good player with a lot of talent, but we get a lot out of Brian just being a good leader [and] understanding the whole offense," Harnett Central head coach Marc Morris said.

Harnett Central runs a West Virginia-style spread offense that relies heavily on its quarterback.

"Our whole offense is based around him – him understanding the defense, him putting us in the right place," Morris said. "We put a lot on his shoulders mentally and he does a great job for us."

Taylor became the starting quarterback for Harnett Central five games into his freshman season when starter Lincoln Morton suffered a season-ending injury.

"It's easy to come out and see if he has a good arm and all that," Morris said. "We knew we had a great talent just because of what kind of person he is, how hard he worked, and how hard he tried to understand the offense."

In Taylor's first game, Harnett Central lost 30-22 to South Johnston. But Taylor showed promise by throwing for approximately 350 yards.

"We tried to protect [Taylor] that first game, early," Morris said. "We didn't really allow him to start throwing until we were down. The mistake made was me not seeing if he can throw the ball earlier."

Harnett Central proceeded to go on a six-game winning streak, which was halted in the first round of the playoffs by Western Guilford, 49-46.

Taylor ended his freshman season with 1,196 passing yards.

The following season, Taylor led Harnett Central to wins in its first six games. However, during that sixth game, he broke a bone in the bottom of his foot, which forced him to miss the final seven games of the season. On the season, he passed for 1,038 yards and ten touchdowns with a 61-percent completion rate and just two interceptions. He also rushed for 326 yards and seven scores.

For his junior season, Taylor picked up where he left off. Harnett Central went undefeated until losing to Asheville Reynolds in the NCHSAA 4A State Championship game, 14-13. Taylor ended the season with 1,997 yards and 16 touchdowns on 149-of-251 passing (59-percent) and 1,213 yards and 11 touchdowns on 177 rushes.

"It was just amazing to see his growth and how much he's matured as a quarterback in such a limited number of games," Morris said.

Taylor's accomplishments and film has attracted a scholarship offer from North Carolina and interest from across the nation.

"There are a ton of schools interested in him throughout the whole nation – not just local teams – including a lot of the Pac-10 schools," Morris said. "The only concrete offer he has right now is Carolina. But he's going to have a lot more here pretty soon.

"A lot of people want to see guys throw at the quarterback position. They want to see him throw and want to watch him react around kids, because they can't miss on that guy. That's not a position you bring in four-five guys a year on like you do at receiver, like you do at D-line, or what not."

Morris feels Clemson and Wake Forest are close to offering Taylor.

"A lot of coaches talk about offering, but they want to see me throw in the spring or maybe go to their camp," Taylor said. "A lot of schools I've talked to also say they don't want to offer until later."

Taylor's likely camping destinations include NC State and Wake Forest. He attended junior days at both schools, recently. He had planned to attend Duke's Junior Day, but was unable to make the trip. He's scheduled to attend Clemson's upcoming junior day.

Taylor says he doesn't have any favorite schools and is open to every opportunity.

"Carolina is a big school and I'm open to them," Taylor said. "I'm open to everywhere. Recruiting is still in the starting stage."

However, Taylor admits considering UNC is a strange feeling. His father and sister attended NC State and his family members are season ticket holders.

"[Going to UNC] would contradict everything I've ever done cheering against Carolina my whole life," Taylor said with a laugh. "But I can put it past me."

Taylor isn't sure when he'll make a verbal commitment.

"I want to wait and see what other schools are interested in me before I make a decision," he said. "I'm not sure when [I'll make a commitment], it kind of depends on what [schools] do. I don't want to make a last minute commitment or anything, but I'd like to be able to graduate early if that's something I wanted to do."

Taylor also excels at baseball, but not to the degree, according to Morris who is also Harnett Central's head baseball coach, of where he'd receive comparable college or pro interest.

"[Baseball] is definitely something I'm interested in," Taylor said. "How I do this year will play a big part in what I do [and determine] if colleges are interested in me or not."

Perfect Game ranks Taylor as a 2011 Draft Level 4 prospect, which means he's on their watch list, but not considered any higher than a low round pick. Also, he's not in the Perfect Game national top 400 for the class of 2011.

Where baseball could affect Taylor's football recruitment is if schools begin to offer the opportunity to walk onto their baseball teams. Taylor says no school has mentioned such an opportunity. However, he added that he's not sure at this point if he wants to play baseball in college.

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