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Monday, June 17, 2013
Michigan schools impressing DT Taylor

By Jared Shanker

Southwest Ohio has been good to Michigan in the past, and one of Cincinnati’s top 2015 prospects was on campus Monday.

Cincinnati Moeller defensive tackle Elijah Taylor took a trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., for Michigan’s first camp of the summer. Although Taylor did not land an offer, he spent a good portion of the camp working with Brady Hoke and defensive line coach Greg Mattison. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound interior pass-rush specialist learned a few new tricks from the Michigan coaches that he can use at Moeller.

“It went really well. I learned some new things I can apply to next season,” Taylor said.

Taylor got a positive vibe from Michigan and liked his time in Ann Arbor. He could see himself playing for the Wolverines if they were to offer.

“I really respect [Michigan],” he said. “It seemed like a place that I would be able to succeed in and enjoy the experience of being there.”

Michigan State recruits Southwest Ohio well, too, and the Spartans have been on Taylor since the end of his sophomore season. The Spartans have offered Taylor, and Michigan State just signed ESPN 300 linebacker Shane Jones out of Moeller in February.

Jones is already recruiting Taylor to the Spartans, but Taylor likes Michigan State for more reasons than just the fact his former teammate will be in East Lansing. Taylor visited Michigan State for the spring game with his family instead of just tagging along with Jones.

“I really enjoyed it. I liked it,” he said. “I thought they had nice coaches and really liked the coaches a lot. They have nice facilities. I got to talk to Coach [Mark] Dantonio and he’s a real nice dude. I respect him a lot.”

Several SEC schools are interested, too, and Taylor has visited a handful. Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia all have Taylor on their radars.

Kentucky is making a strong push into Ohio, specifically the southwest portion of the state. Lexington is only 90 minutes from Cincinnati, and the coaching staff at Kentucky considers Ohio to be part of its in-state recruiting.

“They made a lot of improvement. They have the highest class they’ve had ever,” Taylor said. “I think they’re progressing and getting better every year. They’re one of the teams to look out for.”

Taylor took a visit to Georgia not long ago, although it was not a planned trip to Athens. Taylor was in the area and decided to drop in on the Georgia coaches. The staff was not expecting him, but the coaches still gave Taylor a tour around the facility and showed him significant attention.

“I got a long with Coach [Chris] Wilson, the D-line coach,” Taylor said. “I still keep in contact with him a lot, along with all the other coaches that came and visited. I really like them. I just came down to say hi. But for not expecting me, I really liked it.”

Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia and Western Kentucky have also offered Taylor.