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Irish A-to-Z: Elijah Taylor

Elijah Taylor

WCPO Cincinnati


Brought in as an interior defensive lineman, Cincinnati’s Elijah Taylor looks like the type of stout run-stopper that Bob Diaco would’ve coveted as a nose guard. But in Brian VanGorder’s system, Taylor will have the opportunity to do more than two-gap at the point of attack.

Another recruiting victory out over Ohio State, Taylor enters a depth chart that doesn’t need him to be ready as a freshman, but will count on him down the line. After adding big bodies like Daniel Cage and Pete Mokwuah last cycle, Taylor also adds some explosiveness that has some believing he can add a spark to the pass rush as well.

Let’s take a look at Notre Dame’s latest from Archbishop Moeller.

6'3", 285 lbs.


Taylor only garnered a three-star ranking from Rivals, but his offer list seemed pretty elite. Notre Dame won Taylor’s signature over Ohio State and also Florida State, Miami, Michigan State and a handful of other programs.

He was a first-team All-State defender and also a member of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s All-Star team.


At this point, put Taylor in the category of Jay Hayes or Daniel Cage coming out of high school. Neither blew the doors off of any recruiting service, but they did manage to have some impressive offers and made some great strides in their first season.

Of course, Hayes and Cage are different players. Hayes profiles as a three-technique (the position Sheldon Day plays) while Cage is behind Jarron Jones. It’ll be interesting to see what type of player Taylor becomes, because some recruiting analysts believed he had pass rush ability that could allow him to slide outside, putting a potential comp like Isaac Rochell in the realm of possibility.

None of this is knowable until we actually get a look at Taylor. But working with first-year defensive line coach Keith Gilmore and a depth chart that allows for some developmental time, Taylor is a nice piece of talent to add to the pool.


Unless a rash of injuries hit, Taylor will have the opportunity to learn at his own pace and save a year of eligibility this season. With Jarron Jones healthy and Sheldon Day looking like a lock to stay on the field, finding a way into the three-deep would be an accomplishment, and there’s no reason to take snaps if Taylor isn’t going to see significant time.

The best view of his development will likely come in the spring, as the Irish begin life without Day (and possibly Jones). If Taylor is as strong and athletic as some reports point out, he’ll have a chance to work his way into the mix in 2016.

THE 2015 IRISH A-to-Z
Josh Adams, RB
Josh Barajas, OLB
Nicky Baratti, S
Alex Bars, OL
Asmar Bilal, OLB
Hunter Bivin, OL
Grant Blankenship, DE
Jonathan Bonner, DE
Miles Boykin, WR
Justin Brent, WR
Greg Bryant, RB
Devin Butler, CB
Jimmy Byrne, OL
Daniel Cage, DL
Amir Carlisle, RB
Nick Coleman, DB
Te’von Coney, LB
Shaun Crawford, DB
Scott Daly, LS
Sheldon Day, DL
Michael Deeb, LB
Micah Dew-Treadway, DL
Steve Elmer, RG
Matthias Farley, DB
Nicco Fertitta, DB
Tarean Folston, RB
Will Fuller, WR
Jarrett Grace, LB
Jalen Guyton, WR
Mark Harrell, OL
Jay Hayes, DL
Mike Heuerman, TE
Kolin Hill, DE
Tristen Hoge, C
Corey Holmes, WR
Chase Hounshell, TE
Torii Hunter, Jr. WR
Alizé Jones, TE
Jarron Jones, DL
DeShone Kizer, QB
Tyler Luatua, TE
Cole Luke, CB
Nick Martin, C
Greer Martini, LB
Jacob Matuska, DL
Mike McGlinchey, OT
Colin McGovern, OL
Peter Mokwuah, DL
John Montelus, OL
Nyles Morgan, LB
Sam Mustipher, OL
Quenton Nelson, OL
Tyler Newsome, P
Romeo Okwara, DE
James Onwualu, LB
C.J. Prosise, WR/RB
Doug Randolph, LB/DE
Max Redfield, S
Corey Robinson, WR
Trevor Ruhland, OL
CJ Sanders, WR
Joe Schmidt, LB
Avery Sebastian, S
Elijah Shumate, S
Jaylon Smith, LB
Durham Smythe, TE
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR
Ronnie Stanley, LT