An in-depth player breakdown of Notre Dame four-star defensive lineman commit Elijah Taylor, including player analysis, quotables, recruitment recap and big picture implications for Irish recruiting
Location: Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller
Rank: 4-star, No. 23 defensive tackle
"Taylor comes from a great program and has seen good competition. He's a solid athlete who uses his hands well and is disruptive. He may not have standout measureables, but the intangibles are there along with the athleticism he has." - Scout.com national analyst, Allen Trieu
"The Irish will get a player capable of playing early who understands the work ethic needed to excel at a high level. On the field Taylor does an above average job of using his hands and has the strength to overpower offensive linemen. His ability to place pressure on the quarterback while also playing the run makes him one of the region's top defensive players in the 2015 recruiting class. Great motor who goes hard every play, Taylor could be used inside or on the edge at the next level as he understand leverage and has a great get off at the line of scrimmage that uses power and finesse."
Taylor earned a Notre Dame
last fall during a visit to campus with his family for the USC game.
Notre Dame was immediately considered the front-runner, and it appeared as if Taylor was going to pop for the Irish multiple times throughout the winter.
But, as time passed Ohio State gained momentum, and potentially even surpassed Notre Dame this spring. Two weeks ago, however, Notre Dame looked poised to secure a commitment from Taylor. Though it took a week longer than expected, Taylor stuck with the Irish, and his relationship with Mike Elston prevailed in the end.
With the addition of Taylor and cornerback Shaun Crawford
, that's two recruiting battles Notre Dame won against Ohio State in a week's span.
What This Means for Notre Dame
Notre Dame now has three interior defensive linemen on board - Taylor, Brandon Tiassum and Micah Dew-Treadway, with the latter potentially a fit at defensive end.
That leaves the Irish done recruiting tackles (baring an elite exception, including Canadian Neville Gallimore
). Elston's and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder's attention will shift to defensive end.
As alluded to previously, Notre Dame could add one to two defensive ends in this class, depending on who it signs at outside linebacker.
Key defensive end prospects: Rasheem Green
, Keisean Lucier-South
, Jashon Cornell
, Dre'Mont Jones, Austin Bryant
Notre Dame's Defensive Line Depth in 2014
5th year - DT Justin Utupo
Seniors - DT Tony Springmann
(RS), DE Chase Hounshell
(RS), DE Anthony Rabasa
Junior - DT Sheldon Day
, DE Romeo Okwara, DT Jarron Jones
Sophomores - DE Isaac Rochell
, DE Jacob Matuska
Freshmen - DT Daniel Cage
, DT Pete Mokwuah
, DE Andrew Trumbetti
, DE Jhonathon Williams
, DT Jay Hayes