Dec 28, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive tackle Luther Maddy (92) and Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Alonzo Tweedy (28) tackle Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Miles Shuler (14) during the first quarter of the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies have built a solid Class of 2015 so far as the Hokies have 10 commits currently which is led by 4-star cornerback Mook Reynolds. The Hokies only have one player currently in the Class of 2015 who is definitely a defensive tackle in 3-star DT Eric Whitehead but 3-star DL Harry Lewis has the potential to play defensive end or defensive tackle at the collegiate level.
The Hokies have some big time defensive tackle targets but one of their top three defensive tackle targets seems like the most likely player that the Hokies could get.
Darvin Taylor is a four-star defensive tackle from Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Virginia and is someone that the Hokies would love to add to their Class of 2015. Taylor is ranked as the 16th best defensive tackle by 247 Sports and ESPN while Rivals has him as the 13th best defensive tackle. Nationally, ESPN has him as the nation’s 146th best recruit, Rivals has him as the 181st best recruit, and the 247 Sports Composite has him as the 165th best.
Taylor has very good size at 6-2 and 295 pounds which is the type of size that you want for a 4-3 defensive tackle. Taylor has been slowly rising up some draft boards and has been a consistent four-star recruit which is a sign that Taylor is not a very raw football player and could be someone that can make an early impact wherever he goes.
Nov 8, 2012; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Frank Beamer with Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher after the game at Lane Stadium. The Seminoles defeated the Hokies 28-22. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Right now, the favorite for Darvin Taylor are the Florida State Seminoles who have had some success poaching some of Virginia’s top prospects including Class of 2014 DT Derrick Nnadi. The Seminoles have developed some very good defensive tackles including 2014 NFL Draft pick Timmy Jernigen. On top of that, Florida State is the defending national champions and that definitely has to make a major impression on Taylor.
Alabama might not be seen as one of the top choices but the Crimson Tide could very well become a serious contender quickly if they offer him a scholarship. The Crimson Tide might not be the best fit for Taylor in their 4-3 scheme but the reputation of Alabama and the success they’ve had not only on the field but producing NFL players is big. However, the lack of scheme fit really hurts Nick Saban’s chances of bringing Taylor to Tuscaloosa.
Clemson also seems like a very serious contender for Taylor as the Tigers have defenisve coordinator Brent Venables as the primary recruiter for Taylor. Venables has done a great job building Clemson into a very good defensive team and that is largely due to the improvement of Clemson’s defensive line led by DE Vic Beasley and DT Grady Jarrett. The Tigers are not the favorites for Taylor but are definitely serious contenders.
The Hokies have the advantage of being the team in Darvin Taylor’s home state but that does not seem like a major factor. Virginia Tech has DL Coach Charley Wiles involved in the recruiting process and Wiles would love to bring in another 4-star defensive tackle after the Hokies got Ricky Walker last season. The reputation of the Hokies having great defenses and very good defensive linemen is also something the Hokies can use.
Virginia Tech is not the favorite for Taylor largely due to the tremendous success that Florida State had winning a national title last season but the Hokies are in the hunt and one of the top contenders.