The early signing period for football prospects in the Class of 2020 is upon us, and Penn State is expected to bring in a larger-than-usual class throughout the day. On the Penn State blog today, I’ll be breaking down each of the signees. Here is my scouting report on defensive lineman Brandon Taylor.
School: Lima (OH) Senior HS
Projected position: Defensive end
Rating: Three stars by Rivals.com, 247sports and ESPN
Other offers: Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, South Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia.
Projection: Taylor is just a solid, all-around end who tests well in the speed and strength drills, but who doesn’t often show that athletic explosion on the field. Penn State has a few players like that in this class, and it will be the challenge of the strength training crew to get these players to play to potential. Taylor reads plays well, is disciplined, stays in his lane and is able to force quarterbacks into difficult decisions on those read-option plays because he’s never caught too far out of his spot. He has good upper body strength that can get better, and his footwork is pretty good for a bigger player. He’s a sub-5.0 40-yard dash runner, which is solid for a defensive end prospect, and he does well in the enclosed-area shuttles. He has some pass rush moves, but he can get better there. Some believe he’ll ultimately move to defensive tackle, but Taylor looks like a classic end who can do a little bit of everything. He’ll need a redshirt season to focus on his conditioning and some of the finer points of being a college end, though.
Donnie Collins has been a member of The Times-Tribune sports staff for nearly 20 years and has been the Penn State football beat writer for Times-Shamrock Newspapers since 2004. The Penn State Football Blog covers Nittany Lions, Big Ten and big-time college football news from Beaver Stadium to the practice field, the bowl game to National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5368; @DonnieCollinsTT