Taylor's presence makes Muskegon dangerous team

It took only two varsity seasons for Muskegon's Terrence Taylor to establish himself as one of the state's top defensive linemen.

And the 6-foot-1, 280 pound offensive and defensive lineman is only entering his junior season.

"He'll be among the top linemen in the state," said Muskegon coach Tony Annse. "He has started since his freshman year. He's also a state powerlifting champion. Even at 6-1, 288 pounds, he ran the 40 at 4.9 seconds."

Taylor is hopeful a strong summer of conditioning will make him among the top linemen on the west side of the state.

"I'm stronger and quicker this year," said Taylor, who had 13 quarterback sacks as a freshman and eight as a sophomore. "I've set a goal of 20 quarterback sacks this year. As a team, we want to go far in the playoffs. With all of our seniors, we should have a good team."

To reach his goal of 20 sacks this season, "I need to be quicker," Taylor said. "When I attended the Michigan camp over the summer, I learned some more moves, especially at defensive end."

Taylor has earned enough of a reputation that he realizes he might pick up plenty of attention from offensive lines this year.

"I hope they do pay more attention to me," he said. "I hope the quarterback realizes that I'll be there and that we'll be able, as a team, to intimidate the offensive line."

Since he stepped onto the high school playing field, Taylor has been a threat to the quarterback.

"I picked up rushing the quarterback already during my freshman year in high school," he said.

"During camps, the coaches told me I had to get to the quarterback on most of the plays."

Rushing the passer is a Taylor strength, but the Redman junior also prides himself for his defense against the run

"When I go into a game, I'm ready for them to be running on my side," he said.

Michigan appears to be a frontrunner for Taylor's college team. "They've showed a lot of interest," said Taylor, adding that he'll decide at the end of his junior season on his college choice.

But Taylor said he'll be very careful in making his decision.

"A school that has a repuation of getting players their degrees would be in my favor," he said. "I also want to go to a program that will bring out the best in me."

Taylor's athleticism is what will make him among the state's top recruits in 2004. He plays basketball and in track, runs the 100-yard dash and throws the shot put 52 feet.

"I try to keep active," he said. "I play a lot of sports I do't like to be inactive. I power lift too. In his junior football season, Taylor is confident Muskegon can be a state contender.

"On our side of the state, Muskegon Mona Shores might put up a strong challenge," he said. "In my mind, I don't think anyone in the state willl match us in speed and strength. Ever since we lost to East Kentwood in the playoffs last year, we've been focused on what we need to do. I'm hungry for a championship."

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