Florida D-End Taajhir McCall Signs with Hawkeyes

February 6, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Taajhor McCall stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 225 pounds. He comes off the edge of the defensive line with speed and agility. His frame suggests more is coming.

Those natural gifts might be enough for him to enjoy a successful college career. He wants more. The Pensacola Pine Forest High standout plans on making sure he gets it.

He signed with Iowa Wednesday morning when the late period kicked off. He offered up what the Hawkeye program and fans can expect from him.

“I plan on bringing my energy to the table. At this level, you gotta come ready to play, but it’s what you bring extra to the table that sets you apart,” McCall told HawkeyeNation.com Wednesday morning.

Iowa played host to him on an official visit last weekend after offering him a scholarship last week. He chose the Hawkeyes ahead of Army and Navy, places he also officially visited.

The Hawkeyes won over McCall during his campus stop. He told HN that he connected well with the coaches and the players in the program.

“It’s a place I can see myself fitting in at, with the team and at the school as well. The atmosphere there and the feel with the other players make it a good fit for me,” he said Wednesday morning.

McCall is an excellent athlete who also played tight end in high school. He competed for his high school and on the AAU circuit in basketball.

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As a senior, he recorded 88 tackles, 11 sacks, eight quarterback hurries and four tackles for loss as a senior. He also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. He helped Pine Forest reach the regional semifinals in the Florida Class 6A playoffs, the third largest classification in the state of eight groups.

Junior defensive lineman Chauncey Golston played host to McCall on his Iowa Visit. The veteran provided valuable insight into what it took to arrive as a raw prospect and advance into the rotation. A group of younger Hawkeyes, with whom McCall will play longer, also impressed him.

Assistant Derrick Foster led Iowa’s pursuit of the Florida target. Assistant defensive line coach Kelvin Bell also chipped in.

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“Coach Bell has always been straight forward with me since day one, and that’s something that I appreciate as a recruit. He’s not selling any lies,” McCall told HN Sunday afternoon.

The Hawkeyes are seeking help on the defensive front after losing their four starters from last fall to the NFL, and Brandon Simon and Garret Jansen to transfer. Projected tackle starters, Cedrick Lattimore and Brady Reiff, are seniors. Golston and A.J. Epenesa, the projected starters at end, are juniors with a chance to jump early to the pros.

“Iowa is lacking in D-line right now, so I would be the next in line if I were to go there. After some development and building, I can eventually work into being an impact player,” McCall said after his Hawkeye visit.

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He doesn’t bring any precise goals with him to Iowa City. It’s more about working hard in hopes of reaching a high ceiling of potential.

“My goal is to develop and thrive at the next level,” he said.

Here’s a look at McCall’s senior highlights:

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