4-star linebacker visits USC

Myrtle Beach (SC) 4-star linebacker Bruce Taylor is one of the top overall prospects in the Palmetto State's class of 2008, and the Virginia Tech commitment was on hand this past weekend to see the annual rivalry clash between South Carolina and Clemson. How did Taylor enjoy his time in Columbia, and does he plan on making a return trip to USC for an official visit? Read inside to find out.

The 6'3", 220 pound Taylor, who is rated by Scout.com as the #8 middle linebacker prospect in America this recruiting year, said he had a good time watching the in-state battle between Carolina and Clemson, and he noticed the atmosphere was much more intense than during his previous visit to USC this fall.

"I went to the game, and I felt it was a good game. It was hard fought to the end. If Carolina wouldn't have had so many turnovers it probably would have been a different game," said Taylor. "It was a lot different than the (South Carolina - Mississippi State) game I went to earlier. The atmosphere was crazy with the big rivalry between Carolina and Clemson."

While on campus, Taylor got the opportunity to talk with several of the Gamecock coaches, and they emphasized how big of a priority linebacker recruiting is for them in this class.

"I got to meet with the coaching staff and talk with them for a little bit," said Taylor. "They talked about (their need for linebackers) a lot. You can see in the game, they're really hurting without Jasper Brinkley."

Taylor maintains that he is firm in his pledge to Virginia Tech, but he is considering taking a few official visits to get a feel for what else is out there.

"My commitment is still strong, but it can't hurt (to take some visits). I have five official visits that I can take, so I don't think it'll hurt me," said Taylor. "I might check out a few places just to see what else is out there. Maybe South Carolina and Clemson."

The hard-hitting linebacker has kept close tabs on the Hokies this season, and he's proud of the way they've played thus far, racking up a 10-2 record and a division title.

"I'm proud of them boys. I've been talking with them for a while now, and I think if they didn't lose that Boston College game they'd have a shot at playing for the (national) championship."

Taylor, who recorded 190 tackles and helped lead his team to the third round of the state playoffs this fall, has been selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas next month, and he's looking forward to playing alongside several of the top prospects in the Palmetto State.

"I'm just looking forward to having fun and playing with some of the best people in the state. I'm going to go out there and run around a little bit with them boys. I'm really excited about it."

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