Taylor Wins States in Final Hoops Game

After a 62-45 victory in Hershey Park, Pa. Saturday night, Philadelphia Roman Catholic and future Rutgers offensive lineman Manny Taylor made history with a basketball state championship. Taylor, who scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds, spoke with Scout about his accomplishments and final time on the hard court.

One championship down, one to go in the eyes of Manny Taylor.

Incoming Rutgers offensive lineman and now state champion basketball player Taylor has his sights set on football after he helped Philadelphia Roman Catholic win it all Saturday night in Hershey Park, Pa.

"Football is my next step," Taylor said. "Now, on to bigger and better things. In about two weeks I'm going to start working out and preparing for a college football season. I'm glad we won the state championship, but now I'm trying to win a Big Ten championship."

Taylor scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in the victory over Neumann-Goretti.

"I’m still hyped because it’s a good feeling to win a state championship," Taylor said. "We hit our goals throughout the season and this is where we wanted to be. We finally got here, winning the whole thing, it’s a good feeling.

"The feeling is surreal because I never would have thought that this would be me, especially it being my senior year and my last basketball game ever. It’s just a good feeling."

Taylor's basketball career is now over, and it is time for a football focus. Taylor has his sights set on the weight room with a planned June enrollment at Rutgers.

"I’m going to work a lot on my lower body," he said. "I need to be better using my legs for leverage. I’m just going to work on my body in the weight room and get stronger."

Taylor is admittedly raw after just one year of varsity football experience. He said the mental preparation is most important heading into his first college training camp.

"I think I’m going to have the most trouble coming in and learning the plays and the calls and a lot of stuff," he said. "I know that the strength and conditioning coach is going to get me ready physically. When I went down on my official visit, the coaches talked about the calls you have to make as an offensive lineman. That’s going to take me the longest to get down, but I’m a smart learner. I’m going to pick it up."

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