by Jack Herron and Josh Mathews
Darvin Taylor II knew where he would be playing college football months ago, but he waited until his 17th birthday to make it official.
"As LeBron James would say, I'm taking my talents to Tallahassee and the Florida State Seminoles," said Taylor II.
Taylor, a 4 star defensive tackle from Thomas Dale High in Chester, Virginia, held over 30 scholarship offers and chose the 'Noles over the likes of Virginia Tech, Maryland and Ohio State. According to Rivals.com, he's the 13th best recruit in the class of 2015.
"He's one of the most humble and hardworking kids I've ever had the pleasure to coach," Head Coach Kevin Tucker said after the announcement. "Whether he's needed on offense, defense or to pick up the trash, he'll do whatever to make us a better team."
The press conference was an emotional roller coaster that included excitement, anticipation and a few laughs. After he put the Seminoles hat on, he made a call to his new coach Jimbo Fisher on speakerphone. As he attempted to tell the coaching staff of his decision, Taylor choked up and hugged his Mother.
"It's finally a dream come true," Taylor said following his press conference. "I knew about 8 months ago that I would be going to Florida State. There wasn't one particular reason I chose them, when you know you know."
Just like Taylor II knew his college choice, everyone around him knew that wherever he was headed, it was in the right direction. Born in Germany into a military family, the big lineman moved from Texas to South Korea to Virginia. His father, Darvin Taylor and mother, Dana Taylor are both Sergeant Majors in the army.
“I was always taught to be a leader and to have respect,” said Taylor II. “Yes sir and no sir.”
The journey to commitment was a long one mentally, but also a long one on the road.
“We didn’t want to limit Darvin by location on where he could attend school,” explained Taylor. “Over the last two summers, we put a lot of miles in.”
Athletic genetics played a role as his parents played sports (dad-football, mom-basketball) while his sister Devanee’ Taylor completed a full basketball scholarship at Newberry College in South Carolina.
Taylor II will join fellow Thomas Dale alumnae and National Collegiate Softball Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop at Florida State. He plans to leave a legacy much like the one she's forging.
"I know it's not going to be anytime soon, but we all have to die one day. I want to leave a legacy everywhere I go," said the defensive tackle.
He continues the creation of that legacy tonight after a strong individual performance against Cosby in which he registered 12 tackles and a sack while forcing and recovering a fumble. Next Friday, Thomas Dale faces archrival and two-time defending state champion Lloyd C. Bird.