In the NCAA's final statistical rankings for the 2007 season, Penn State was No. 7 nationally in rushing defense for the third consecutive year, allowing just 93.8 yards per game. The Nittany Lions held eight opponents to 90 rushing yards or less last season, allowed just three runs of more than 18 yards on 449 rushing attempts by the opposition and just nine rushing touchdowns. One of the primary forces in shutting down the opposition was defensive tackle Phil Taylor. An all-state selection at Gwynn Park Senior HS, Taylor has excellent skills and physical attributes. His ability to occupy opposing offensive linemen has been critical in allowing the linebackers to make plays, when he's not shredding blockers to make plays on his own. The talented, strong and athletic Taylor has an opportunity to play a significant role for the defense the next two seasons. A starter in the final four games of last season, Taylor is one of seven returning Nittany Lions who were prep standouts in Maryland.
2007 Sophomore Season
A sprained knee during preseason slowed Taylor early in the year, but he got stronger as the season progressed and started the last four contests. He helped limit opponents to just 93.8 rushing yards per game, ranking Penn State No. 7 in the nation in run defense. Playing in 11 games, Taylor had 20 tackles (12 solo), with 6.5 tackles for losses (minus-26), 3.0 sacks for minus-18 yards and two fumble recoveries. He was sixth on the team in minus-yardage hits. Taylor ended the season strong. He recorded a career-high five tackles (three solo) at Michigan State, including a sack. He followed with five stops, with a TFL, in the win over Texas A&M in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Taylor made two solo stops against Notre Dame, Michigan and Indiana and also had a pair of hits against Ohio State. Against the Hoosiers, he recorded 2.0 TFL for minus-10 yards, including a sack, and recovered a fourth-quarter fumble that led to a Kevin Kelly field goal. He also grabbed a fumble against Florida International. Taylor saw action on 410 snaps, led by 59 against Texas A&M and 58 at Michigan State.
2006 Freshman Season
Taylor made his collegiate debut against Michigan and played in the last seven games, gaining valuable experience on one of the nation's premier defenses. He was on the field for 53 plays, led by 14 snaps against Illinois and 12 in the Temple game.
Taylor was a standout offensive and defensive lineman for Coach Dan Hayes at Gwynn Park Senior HS. During his senior season, he was named first-team all-state and Washington Post first-team All-Met. He made 77 tackles, with 10 sacks as a senior. During his junior season, he recorded 30 tackles, two sacks and forced a fumble, while accounting for 30 "pancake blocks" as an offensive tackle.
Full name is Phillip Eugene Taylor. He is undecided on a major. Born April 7, 1988.