After watching Christian Taylor's film I knew that big things were about to happen for him in regards to his recruitment. He's hearing from a number of schools already but the 2014 offensive tackle from White Knoll will soon be bombarded by more mail and phone calls than he'll care to deal with once his film continues to circulate and this story reaches Fox Sports and Scout.com readers. There are plenty of big massive lineman out there but to see this young man move the way he can instantly made me internally think, "WHOA!" That's just part of the reason why the 6'4 330 pound prospect is "UP NEXT" with SCPrepNation.com!
The size is obviously there already for Taylor and college coaches are envisioning what they can do with his frame in a college strength and conditioning program. That much is already clear. His ability to move and pull easily and quickly to get out in front of his running backs is what really impressed me the most. He initiates and finishes his blocks and is on to the next one even on the second level.
One SEC assistant coach I spoke to initially had concerns about his weight when asking me about "players to be certain to see ASAP". Once he saw his film though he told us that with the right conditioning and work ethic Taylor is "easily a 4 or 5 star prospect."
We caught up Taylor to see just where things stand regarding his recruitment.
"Right now I'm hearing from Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, Wake Forest, and have received mail from Illinois, Duke, Missouri, Auburn, and Florida too. Out of all those schools Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, and Wake Forest are recruiting me the hardest out of everyone."
Taylor in fact has already visited a couple of those schools and he shared with us what he likes most about each program and told us about an upcoming visit.
"I visit Clemson in 2 weeks and then I'm attending their Spring Game. I went to Georgia Tech for an unofficial visit and I liked the facilities and I felt welcomed in the locker room and on the field with the boys."
"I have also visited South Carolina. The facilities were great and they have amazing jerseys. I really like that the coaching staff has a great connection with players."
His numbers last year were impressive on a team that is heavy into smash mouth football.
"Last year I had 40 pancake blocks, it was 2nd highest on the team. I also had 1 tackle after an interception too."
One game in particular last season really sparked Taylor and it proved to be his most outstanding outing of the season in his opinion.
"We played Orangeburg-Wilkinson and I recorded 9 pancake blocks and set a game record for the season. I also had multiple plays that were just amazing! But the reason it was memorable is because one of our seniors went down and it just motivated me so much to be a better player knowing any minute that something could go wrong and it could be my last play."
Taylor continues to use that motivation and hunger to fuel his efforts to get better for his upcoming junior season in hopes of landing some scholarship offers in the very near future. He talked with us about various aspects of his game.
"Right now my biggest strengths on the field are my pass blocking and being able to be super speedy when I pull around."
"For next season I want to have more pancakes and work on rolling my hips when I am attempting to run block. I also want to finish at the end of the play a little better. I also know I need to get a little lower pad level."
Looking ahead to next year the 2014 prospect says he's looking forward to each and every game but one in particular stands out to him.
"Lexington. They have a great team and always seem to give us a run for our money."
His expectations and goals are high especially considering the player many people compare him to on the field.
"Michael Oher. I am compared to him a lot size wise and the way I look. Also on the way I play aggressive and don't care what happens just going to the next play knowing I can win the battle no matter what."
With so many schools already in the mix and more undoubtedly soon to join the race for his signature on National Signing Day 2014 it will take a special school to secure his commitment.
"The things that are going to be most important for me are graduation rates, atmosphere, and the majors they have to offer. School always comes first. But the strength of the conference will also be important because I would want to play for a team who has a championship potential but the school that's going to have the right kind of school for me."
Asked about his grades Taylor reports a 3.475 overall GPA currently. He has yet to take the SAT or ACT yet but will be doing so in the near future.
Expect Taylor to continue to see his stock rise over the next two seasons, we're projecting him to be amongst the top players in the state of South Carolina for 2014. He potentially will be a national level prospect as well if he continues to develop at his current rate technically and also in regards to his strength and conditioning.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...CHRISTIAN TAYLOR
Bench press: 315 pounds
Squat: 460 pounds
Fastest 40: 5.21 seconds
A CLOSER LOOK...CHRISTIAN TAYLOR
Favorite food: Chinese
Favorite movie: The Blindside
Favorite music artist: Drake
Favorite subject in school: English
Dream school: South Carolina
Dream date would be with: Katy Perry
One thing about you that most people would be surprised to know: "I am mixed (bi-racial), even though I look fully black. People assume a lot."