Vols look at Virginia LB

One of Virginia's top linebacker prospects lists Tennessee among his five favorites.

Demetrius Taylor is a 6-1, 220-pounder from Kellam High of Virginia Beach. He recorded 110 tackles last fall, with 10 tackles for loss, six sacks and one interception. He covers 40 yards in 4.7 seconds and has a 3.2 grade-point average.

Taylor has a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech, which is his top choice at present.

''My parents want me to go to Virginia Tech,'' Taylor told Allen Wallace of TheInsiders.com. ''My sister goes there, so it would be easier to have both of us in one place. I like that the team works hard. They have a blue-collar work mentality. It's a great place and a nice quality of life there.''

Not far behind the Hokies are Maryland, Notre Dame, Miami and Tennessee. Taylor plans to attend camps at Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and Maryland this summer.

Miami had six players -- two of them linebackers -- taken in Round 1 of last weekend's NFL Draft, so the Hurricanes could be a real factor in Taylor's recruitment.

''They always produce great NFL players,'' he noted, ''and a lot of them were linebackers.''

Notre Dame is showing increased interest and may offer soon. Regardless, Taylor hopes to make a commitment before the summer ends.

''I'm thinking about committing before my senior season,'' he said. ''I want to have a school under my belt in case I get injured or something.''

Tennessee loses just one senior linebacker (Kevin Burnett) following the 2004 season but says goodbye to Kevin Simon, Jon Poe, Jason Mitchell, Omar Gaither, Marvin Mitchell and Ovince Saint Preux following the 2005 season. Thus, signing some prep linebackers will be a top priority next February.

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