Target 2004: Taylor Hurst

If there is ever such a thing as a "lock" for a player to attend a certain school -- then Taylor Hurst is probably a lock to attend North Carolina. Like many, he grew up a Carolina fan. His father took him to as many UNC football games as he could. Hurst's grandfather is also a season ticket holder.

There is no doubt that Hurst loves everything Tar Heel -- the campus, the football staff, and the academics.

"Taylor is a very physically gifted young man. He has all of the tools," East Wake assistant coach Chad Davenport said. "He has really exploded in size since the end of the season."

When he was young, Hurst was not permitted to play football with the other kids his age due to being so much bigger. It was in middle school that football coaches began to tell him he had a chance to play Division I football.

But with Hurst's football career progressing smoothly, he developed pneumonia in August of his junior season.

He was hospitalized in intensive care for two weeks combating his sickness. He missed six games trying to recuperate.

"It was tough watching my teammates from the sideline," Hurst said. "My teammates were having all the fun playing and I was forced to watch. It did motivate me to regain my strength so that I could play again as soon as possible."

Davenport said, "He came back and started for us the last two regular season games and helped us in our playoff run. He is running track this spring. He competes in the shot put and discus events, but he is running with us to work on his footwork.

"He is a very coachable kid who loves contact and has a nasty streak in him. It says a lot about his commitment coming back from that sickness and helping us with our run to the Eastern finals. He will definitely be one of our leaders next year and is doing a great job in the weight room right now. I look forward to him having a great senior year."

Taylor has been invited to camps at UNC, N.C. State, Tennessee, and Virginia. He plans to attend those camps as well as the Nike Camp in May. UNC, N.C. State and Virginia are the primary schools under consideration with the Tar Heels firmly in the lead. None of his favorites have offered at this point but many schools are showing interest.

Imagine that you have just been pulled over for speeding. You look in the mirror and the police officer approaching your car is 6-foot-5 and weighs almost 300 pounds. That could happen if UNC offensive line prospect Taylor Hurst chooses to follow his childhood dream of working in Law Enforcement.

He hopes to first enjoy a successful career as a Tar Heel and maybe even beyond.

Both his parents work in public safety, so discipline has never been a problem.

"It was pretty strict," Hurst said. "They knew what I was doing about all the time. If I ever had gotten in trouble then it would not have taken them long to hear about it."

Hurst plans to major in a Law Enforcement-related study in college and still unsure if he wants to work at the local or federal level.

Taylor Hurst
Age: 16 (turns 17 on April 15)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 294
40-time: 5.1
Bench Press: 300
Squat: 450
Position: OL

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