Taking It To The Next Level

It's been a little tough for Noah Taylor to follow in big brother Jason's footsteps, but the Woodland Hills, Pa. senior-to-be is coming along quite nicely and building a reputation for himself on the football field.

"It didn't really help me that he got (NFL) Defensive Player of the Year, but I'm definitely proud of him,'' Noah Taylor said. "Maybe I can knock him out of the record books some day. That might take a while, but I can work toward doing that. And it gives me something to shoot for.

"But Jason and I talk a couple times a week. I'll call him up just to see how he's doing, but I guess he's doing pretty well down there in Florida. He's really playing well at this point in his career. He's really set the bar high for me and a lot of players from this area, but that's a good thing.''

The nearly 6-foot-3, 220-pound Noah Taylor has the size to battle a big offensive tackle to make a play, but he should also have the speed to run down a back from his defensive end spot. Taylor has run the 40-yard dash in the 4.7-8-second range and has a vertical jump of 31 inches, skills he displayed at the Scout.com Combine May 6 in Pittsburgh.

"Some coaches and scouts, they don't come around here to look at players any other time, so that's why these combines are a good thing,'' Taylor said. "Some just look up here for centers and guards, big guys like that, but if somebody's looking for a tight end or D-end they can look at me.

"I've had quite a few offers so far, and I like the University of Pittsburgh a lot. I had a chance to go to Connecticut, but I couldn't take the trip. I might schedule it again sometime. There's some others, but we'll see. I'll get a list together pretty soon, and we'll figure out what we're going to do.''

Taylor has some ties to Pitt already. There's brother Jason, who played for Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt when he guided the Miami Dolphins. Few interviews go by without the Wannstedt mentioning the elder Taylor's name.

"I met Coach Wannstedt whenever I was in the ninth grade,'' Taylor said. "He came up to my high school. I guess it was when he first got back to Pittsburgh. I talked to him for a little bit then. I've known Coach (Bob) Junko for a long time, too, probably since I was like 3-4 years old. He's coached here for a long time, so I've known him since I was little.''

Jason Taylor likely will have some influence on his little brother, as far as choosing a college is concerned, but ultimately Noah must decide for himself. He's also been getting more notice lately, so more offers could be coming soon. And that could delay his decision.

"I've been thinking about getting this whole recruiting process out of the way, getting it done early, so I don't have to worry about it during the season,'' Taylor said. "But, you never know, because something might happen during the season. A big offer or something like that. You never know.

"So, I'll just have to think about it a lot over the summer and decide what I want to do. I have some ideas right now, but I have to figure out if I want to wait or if I want to get it out of the way. I know I can't make a bad decision, no matter what I do, but it's definitely a tough decision.''

That's why Taylor likely will table his decision for at least a little while, possibly after a trip to visit Jason in Miami. Then, Noah Taylor said he'll put some highlight videos together, work out for his senior season and begin his long quest to pass his big brother in the record books.

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