Taco Headed to State

With former teammate Eilar Hardy watching from the stands, Notre Dame 2013 target Taco Charlton helped his team reach the state championship game. IrishEyes.com was on hand and spoke with the defensive end following the game.

Saturday night proved to be a big one for Taco Charlton and his Pickerington (Ohio) Central teammates.

Already holding an offer from Notre Dame, Charlton had one of his biggest fans in Irish freshman defensive back Eilar Hardy watching as the Tigers defeated a powerful Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier team who they had lost to in week two of the season.

How does it feel to know next Saturday night you'll be playing for a state championship?

"It feels great," said Charlton. "After going 0-2 to start the season, people didn't think we would be in the state championship game. However, it was a team goal and no matter how we started, we knew we were going to play for a state championship."

Never afraid to praise others, Charlton made sure to yell out to those who made the trip to Dayton to see the team play.

"I have to give a shout out to our fans that drove for over an hour to come to the game and see us play," said Charlton. "We didn't disappoint and I love all the guys (teammates) out here. They are my brothers and we received a lot of love out here from our fans."

An avid twitter poster, Charlton has seen a lot of attention from fans from across the country. He stressed he's still in the process of looking at schools but is enjoying the process.

"I'm still just taking a look around and everyone is showing me a lot of love early," said Charlton. "If they show me love, I'm going to show them a lot of love back. Notre Dame and Michigan fans are showing me a lot of love early and it feels great to see that."

With lots of teammates from last year at the game, Charlton's bond with Hardy seems strong.

"Last year we should have made it to state," said Charlton. "We made it all the way to the Final Four last year. But to see Eilar out here was special. Eilar and all the other guys from last year and years past this was for them. Eilar came to practice and talked with us before the game. We should have done this last year but now we've done it for him and he can get the feeling when he comes to the game next weekend."

While Charlton is still a raw prospect, he knows who to thank for the things he's been given.

"I've got to thank God and everything he's done for me," said Charlton. "He's the one who gave me the strength, my body and my ability. I have to thank him first. I also have to thank my family as they've humbled me. No matter what, I know I'm nowhere close to reaching my potential and ability as a player. To become a better player I know I've got to work hard and hit the weight room early, film early, whatever I can do to become a better player I'm willing to do."

After Saturday night, Charlton will see college coaches pushing to get him to their campus for visits. What are his plans at this time?

"I'm going to try and visit as many places that I can during the winter so I have a better feeling for each school," said Charlton. "After next weekend I'll try to take a few days off and then I might look at playing basketball. I'm not sure yet."

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