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Kole Taylor Receiving National Recognition for His Strong 2023 Season, Natural Ability

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WVU Football TE Kole Taylor

When Kole Taylor came to West Virginia last year, he did so on the promise he would receive more of an opportunity as a pass catcher. Taylor is now experiencing some national recognition for his ability based on his 2023 season as a a Mountaineer.

The senior tight end joins several of his teammates at the top of PFF’s preseason position rankings. While Houston’s Maliq Carr is in the No. 1 spot by a wide margin, Taylor is right behind him as the next highest graded tight end in the Big 12. Taylor’s grade of 75.5 is ahead of Iowa State’s Benjamin Brahmer at 73.2.

After spending three years in the SEC with LSU, Taylor transferred to WVU in January of 2023. He then made recorded 35 reception for 444 yards and scored four touchdowns, giving the Mountaineers the program’s most prolific tight end in years.

Prior to WVU, Taylor started only seven of his 32 games at LSU and made just 17 career catches for 159 yards and one touchdown. Taylor was a three-star recruit of Grand Junction, Colo. in 2020.

Taylor’s offensive numbers may be what catches (pun intended) people’s attention, especially since WVU head coach Neal Brown once referred to his 6-foot-7, 225-pound tight end target as “open by birth” but he prides himself on being a complete player.

WVU Football tight end Kole Taylor attempts to hurdle a UNC defender in the Duke's Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 27, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / WV Sports Now)

WVU tight end Kole Taylor attempts to hurdle a UNC defender in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 27, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / WV Sports Now)

“I never like being called just a pass catching tight end or just a run blocking tight end. You have to be versatile if you want to play at the next level,” Taylor responded when asked about he was used after a game early in WVU’s 2023 season.

Taylor also made it clear he’s ready for whatever is needed from him during games. “If I get open, they are going to throw me the ball. If I get open, they are going to find plays for me. So I have to do my job to make it happen,” he said about his mentality during games.

WVU Football TE Kole Taylor

Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

Taylor was held out of the spring practice session as he recovers from an injury, but is expected to be ready for fall camp and the start to the 2024 season against Penn State.

For related stories, PFF is also high on Garrett Greene and views Jahiem White among the top returning Big 12 running backs.

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