Sophomore two-way standout Leonard Taylor was on his way to a school assembly when his Springfield High School coach Maurice Douglass stopped him in the hallway to share some important news.
“I came in and Coach Doug was like, ‘Hey Leonard, you got another one,’” said Taylor, a 6-foot-6, 258-pound tight end/defensive tackle from Ohio. “I said, 'From who?' and he was like, 'Notre Dame.' He handed me the phone and I talked to coach Mike (Elston) and he said I had an offer from Notre Dame.”
Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State had already offered Taylor but Notre Dame still stands out.
“It was good, I liked it,” he said. “I was excited for it. I'm trying to go see them this spring break.”
Taylor is familiar enough with Notre Dame to know if he ends up in South Bend it’s a 40-year decision, not a four-year one.
“They have a good academic program,” he said. “Later on it will look good on my resume to help me get a job and stuff.”
Taylor visited Michigan earlier this spring and hopes to see several more schools leading into the summer.
He plans to use those visits to get a better understanding of where each school projects him to play at the next level.
“They’re waiting to see how my body turns out and how much bigger I get,” he said. “I don’t have a preference, really. I just want to get this money. That’s what I want to do.”
Physically, Taylor is suited to play either position. In fact, his high school coach compared him to a former Pac 12 defensive lineman projected to go in the first round of the NFL Draft next month.
"He's a lot like DeForest Buckner," Douglas said. "Big athletic guy with great upside; uses his hands very well. Only his first year playing defense."
Despite his early interest in Notre Dame, look for Ohio State to be tough to beat considering Taylor’s tie to the program. His great uncle, Ormonde Ricketts, played wide receiver for the Buckeyes from 1961-1963.