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Surprise!: DE Jimmie Taylor Commits to the Hokies

Virginia Tech picks up its first Defensive End commitment of the 2016 class, NC defensive end Jimmie Taylor

Jimmie Taylor is next in line to take up the DE legacy of players like James Gayle
Jimmie Taylor is next in line to take up the DE legacy of players like James Gayle
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In a class without a single defensive end with not a ton of reliable information one way or another in sight, Virginia Tech picked up a commitment on Sunday. Jimmie Taylor, a defensive end from Jacksonville, NC, committed to the Hokies, per This comes amidst some hazy speculation he was a UNC lean and not particularly high on the Hokie radar. Taylor also has offers from NC State, Michigan, Florida, and Duke, making him a stealthy commitment in terms of national publicity. Taylor joins Clay Dean as the only commitments Tech has on the defensive line for the class of 2016. Taylor visited Blacksburg yesterday and was apparently impressed enough that he decided to commit. Side note, he had also gone to the barbeque- but his recent visit discounts him from ‘leftover’ status.

Jimmie Taylor (Jacksonville, NC. 220lbs, 6’-3". Defensive End.)

Taylor is your prototypical high-school defensive end, which is definitely where he’ll stay in Foster’s defense- weak side is probably the correct direct projection as well. Taylor is rangy, long, and athletic. He comes off the ball well, and violently. He’s lined up at positions across the defensive line, but that probably won’t happen at major college level- Foster doesn’t do amoeba fronts (fronts where defensive players line up out of position and in a variation of stances) in his defense.

Besides Taylor’s solid first step, I like that he’s strong for his size- if he’s playing against anyone close to him in size, he’s the bully and aggressor, not the other way around. He’ll need to gain another 20-25lbs to play Div. I defensive end, but his frame is in the right place for that. He does show at least a modicum of pass moves- though not superlatively well developed, you can see the start of both a swim and a rip move, and of course he can do the straight up bull-rush. Issues I have with him are a concern in the level of competition, and his lack of true top-end pass rushing speed. His pursuit is fine, but he’s got a sort of lumber to his moves. With refinement, he’d probably be in the older Stephen Friday class of pass-rushers. Either way, he comes at a positional need and provides us a solid bit of help to clean up after our large DE class next year in terms of useful depth.

Welcome to the Hokies, Jimmie!