After freelancing from his defensive end position during his days at South Stanly High (Norwood, N.C.), the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Taylor is being asked to play assignment-oriented football with the Tigers.
"At this level and the next level, when a coach calls a defense, you have to do your part," Hargrave defensive line coach Coleman Tyrance said. "They're not going to ask you to do other things for their defense, so he's doing a lot of things that he will be asked to do in college. That's what he is realizing now.
"The natural instinct is ‘I can make this play on the back side, so let me do it,' versus I need to stay on my side of the field and make sure the quarterback doesn't get it thrown back to him."
One of the things Taylor is doing with more regularity is keeping the hands of defenders off of him so he can get to the ball carrier.
Hargrave is 4-0 after beating Newberry College's junior varsity team 33-14 last weekend. Taylor had a pair of tackles in the win.
"He's doing a much better job using his hands," Tyrance said. "He made comments to me about being coached differently in high school, and now he gets to play his part on defense and doesn't have to make all the plays, like he did in high school.
"Now he can play the position and focus on what he has to do, and make the plays that come to him versus having to be the guy that makes a lot of plays for his team."
And, the best part of the Hokies is Tyrance said Taylor remains on target to enroll at Virginia Tech in January.
"He's growing into a young man as far as taking it seriously," Tyrance said. "We talked last night, as a matter of fact, for him to remain focused on doing what he has to do. He takes film very seriously. He takes criticism very well, he asks questions."