Iowa Official Visit Impresses Florida D-End Taajhir McCall

February 3, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Taajhir McCall has been searching for honesty in a college football program. He felt he found that at Iowa in building a relationship with assistant coach Kelvin Bell.

During his official visit to campus this weekend, that point was driven home. The Pensacola Pine Forest High product received a real look at what he would be getting into if he chose the Hawkeyes.

“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 defensive end also officially visited Army and Navy. The military academies and Iowa made his list of finalists.

“I will be waiting until signing day to announce,” McCall said.

The late signing period begins on Wednesday.

The Hawkeyes started recruiting McCall last spring but things quieted between the two parties this season. The coaches picked things back up a few weeks ago and offered a scholarship last week. He accepted their invitation for an official visit.

“It was a great atmosphere and the people there are very lively, which wasn’t expected by me. Also, they’re really supportive of all of the sports teams,” he said.

McCall (6-4, 225) 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.

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Iowa lost its four starting defensive linemen following the season. The four projected starters for 2019 will be upperclassmen.

McCall sees opportunity.

“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,” he said.

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Head coach Kirk Ferentz spent time getting to know McCall. He made a positive impression.

“Coach Ferentz is a very genuine guy, and he really cares about his players, his people, and his program. He wasn’t able to be there the whole time this weekend because his son (James Ferentz) is playing tonight (in the Super Bowl), and some former Hawkeyes will be on the field as well, but the time we did spend together was good,” McCall said.

Junior defensive end Chauncey Golston played host to McCall during his visit. They got along well.

“He’s a cool guy; a little older so he has some more insight on the program. Some of the younger guys were cool, too. I could connect with them more and get the vibe of the program from being around them,” McCall said.

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He also learned about the academics at Iowa. He liked what he saw and heard.

“I learned about the Engineering program from the assistant dean of the School of Engineering. She was full of insight and showed me around the whole school just to give me a visual of what the average day of an engineering student would be like,” McCall said.

He visited Iowa with his mother, Nicole McCall.

“She enjoyed the city as well. We haven’t had time to talk about what she thinks about the football part, but I can tell she was impressed with how nice and professional everything was,” he said.

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