Junior to watch - Taylor Hermes

Taylor Hermes is a 6-2, 225-pound athlete from Keizer (Ore.) McNary, and the LB/FB got to experience something few high schoolers do this summer - he travelled to Europe. But he never lost sight of the fact that he'll be counted on as a leader for McNary this fall, so he combined his travel with his football responsibilities to make his experience of the more unique ones this summer.

"I went to Austria with my high school coach," Hermes told TheInsiders.com. "He coaches a team over there in the summer. I went over with one of my teammates and just hung out, worked out and learned out European football is played. I've been wanting to go as a freshman and decided this was the time to do it."

Taylor runs a 4.7 40, benches 315 pounds, squats 505 pounds and vertically jumps 29 inches. He was named team captain as a junior, and has started for McNary since his 10th grade. Recently, he made the trek from Oregon to the Seattle area, where he participated in the James Hasty defensive select camp.

"I think the biggest thing for me right now is just getting smarter on the field," Taylor said when asked about what he needs to work on in preparation for his senior season. "I've been studying film for an hour to and hour and a half a day, mostly passing."

Hermes has been thinking about recruiting, and talked a little bit about the process and which schools have been showing him the most interest. "I don't think I would make a decision right away, but I've seen what Oregon, Oregon State and Washington have to offer," he said. "During the Hasty camp I went to Washington and checked things out. So far, Oregon and Washington have the best equipment and facilities, but Oregon State is remodeling.

"I almost have a 4.0 GPA, so I want to go to a school with good academics but more importantly I want to go to a school where I fit in best with the coaches and who have a good program. If I had my choice, I'd like to go to a Pac-10 school."

The Beavers, Huskies, Ducks and UCLA Bruins have been showing Taylor the most interest and all schools are recruiting Taylor as a linebacker, except Stanford, who likes him as a fullback. UCLA should be a team of note, as former McNary grad J.D. Groves is currently playing fullback for the Bruins.

"My Dad owns his own business and it's named after Oregon State (Beavers)," Taylor said. "He's been a die-hard fan of theirs forever. But I went to a couple of Oregon things, like their Junior Day, and I don't think he would be that concerned if I went to Oregon. But my Mom wants me to go to Washington. That's where our family is at, in Vancouver actually, which is basically Oregon. But it was always her dream to go to Washington."

Oregon State and Washington are his top-2, with UCLA right behind them. As of right now, no school has offered Taylor a scholarship.

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