17 in 17: S T.J. Taylor

Rutgers football has 17 signed freshmen in various stages of the enrollment process. Continuing our 17-in-17 series, today ScarletReport.com looks at South Brunswick safety T.J. Taylor.

The South Brunswick pipeline continues to Rutgers with T.J. Taylor's summer enrollment set for the end of the month. Taylor follows Mohamed Sanu and Jevon Tyree as South Brunswick products turned Rutgers scholarship football players.

With an NFL receiver and Rutgers cornerback in his ear, Taylor said he is prepared for a transition.

"I have no doubt in my mind that I'm ready," Taylor said. "I'm there in conditioning. I feel great with my speed on the defense. Physically I feel comfortable that I'm going to compete. Mentally, it's about preparing yourself and knowing the defense and just learning with the team and the players and watching them. I feel like once I get my head in my playbook, I'll pick it up."

Taylor graduates from South Brunswick this month and joins Tyree at Rutgers for the second summer session. After a month of classes and workouts, Taylor begins his first training camp with the Scarlet Knights.

"I've talked a lot with Jevon about the experience and making the transition," Taylor said. "He says you have to stay strong mentally obviously be in shape. Mohamed said pretty much the same where I have to come in hungry and just push to contribute in the defensive backfield."

Taylor was long committed before the Big Ten announcement, but remains as excited as the rest of the recruiting class about the 2014 schedule and beyond.

"I'm not saying it meant much for my decision because I was already going to Rutgers, but it's extra incentive," Taylor said. "To be playing ranked teams every week and moving the school in a positive direction. We'll have a bunch of great teams coming in and Rutgers is trying to build itself into one of those schools. There are no easy games but we're building a tough program. I'm just hoping the transition into the Big Ten is going to be smooth because teams are going to have to watch out for us."

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Taylor checked in as a three-star safety in 2013 and devoted his spring to learning more about the position. Taylor played free safety for South Brunswick, but also worked at cornerback and receiver in high school.

Watching three Rutgers defensive backs go in the 2013 NFL draft, Taylor is fully behind his future position.

"It's motivation," Taylor said. "In a couple of years playing at Rutgers, you're going to get that opportunity because of the way they run their program. Rutgers DBs are getting developed into the NFL and a lot of organizations have confidence in their players. In a couple years I can be at the NFL combine and pro day."


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