Linebacker, 6-2, 225 lbs., 4.6
South Forsyth High, Gainesville, Ga.
Tackling machine will play middle linebacker upon his arrival at WVU … led South Forsyth High to a 10-3 record and a place in the 3A state quarterfinals … recorded 212 tackles in his senior season for head coach Norris Vaughn.
Named the Gainesville Times' Northeast Georgia Player of the Year … rated as one of the top 50 prospects in Georgia by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution … named first-team all-state for Georgia class 3A … also named as a PrepStar All-American.
Four-year starter for South Forsyth High and has been named by the Forsyth County News as a four-time all-county selection … As a junior, he recorded 137 tackles despite playing with two broken bones in his wrist … chose WVU in the summer of 2001 … WVU went ahead and offered him a scholarship while other major programs waited to see how he progressed from his wrist injury … Georgia, Georgia Tech and others had high interest in him … will also play baseball at WVU for Mountaineer head coach Greg Van Zant
Selected as an all-state and all-county player on the baseball diamond at catcher … also a member of the wrestling team … plans to enroll in general studies … son of Murphy and Pam Ownbey
What Rich Rodriguez says: “Taylor committed to us early, and we were able to hang on to him. He’s also an outstanding fullback, but we’re looking at him strictly as a middle linebacker. He’s also an excellent baseball player and plans to play baseball here as well. He’s a catcher. He played with two broken wrists in his junior year. His dad, Murphy, is a high school coach, and so it’s one of those coach’s sons who understands the game. We think Taylor is going to be a good one.”
What Herb Hand says: “Taylor was a guy who committed to us a long time ago. Coach Bird told us about him, and we were able to get him to commit early. He wound up being first-team all-state in Georgia with 200-plus tackles. He’s a physical player, and someone who will fit in very well here.”