Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, has seen an abundance of highly-touted players earn Division 1 offers in the last few years, highlighted by New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, Oregon offensive line commit Jackson Powers-Johnson, and USC freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart and Trojans commit Devin Brown.
Harrison Taggart is next up, as the 6-foot-1, 208-pound athletic linebacker has received 25 Division 1 offers, including nine from Pac-12 schools. June was a hectic month for Taggart, as he took unofficial visits to nearby Utah, UCLA, USC, and Oregon, as well as an official visit to Arizona.
Taggart was a centerpiece of Corner Canyon's dominant 14-0 season in 2020. He registered 140 tackles, four interceptions, five sacks, a safety, and three defensive touchdowns in his junior season en route to being named a Utah First Team All-American.
He took the short trip to Salt Lake City to check out the Utah Utes, where he got to work out with Colton Swan, the team's linebackers coach. The coaching staff and the experience left Taggart feeling satisfied.
"Utah was a lot of fun," he told Ducks Digest. "I love everything that they're doing. They're building an amazing program there, and it's just in my backyard so I'd have a lot of family coming to my games."
While he said it would be nice to have his family go to games to support him, he told Ducks Digest that distance does not affect his decision. He headed west to visit UCLA, and upon reflection, he said the visit stood out from the rest.
"I like the vibe there because it's a family feel," he said. "I just like the atmosphere. I could see my fit there very well. I was able to meet the entire coaching staff, and I just clicked and bonded with them."
Taggart also checked out USC, which offered him just a few weeks prior to his visit.
"I really liked USC," he said. "It's a great environment, great atmosphere, great coaches."
Next up was a trip to Tucson in the third week of June for an official visit. He met with the Wildcats' new Head Coach Jedd Fisch, who invited Taggart and all of the recruits to his house for a barbecue.
"It was awesome to see Coach Fisch's vision for the program to keep it going," Taggart said. "All of the coaches have great eyes for the program and where they want it to go."
The final visit on his list was to Eugene. He got the typical luxurious visit treatment: touring the facilities, getting geared up for photoshoots, meeting with the position coaches, and touring the campus.
One thing that made the visit special for him was having Linebackers Coach Ken Wilson meet him in the parking garage.
"I'm definitely the closest with Coach Wilson," Taggart said of his relationships with the Oregon staff. "We talk daily. We talked for several months before I got offered, then when I got offered by Oregon, every single coach is constantly texting me and sending me stuff about Oregon. It's amazing."
Talking with the coaching staff over the phone and through text is one thing, but meeting with them in person is a whole different vibe. The Ducks' coaching staff surprised Taggart as he came up the elevator upon arriving at the football facility.
"It was incredible. I went in the elevator and the whole entire coaching staff was in the main lobby just clapping for me," he said.
"It was breath-taking. They just have a ton of energy up there, and it's unbelievable what Oregon has to offer. It's a fun environment up there."
He met with Mario Cristobal, and the overflow of energy from the coaching staff continued.
"He's a great dude," Taggart said. "The energy he brings to his team and the unity he's brought to his team is awesome. I love Coach Cristobal."
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Taggart also ate lunch with Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter, and he talked with him about his potential fit with the Ducks if he were to commit.
"He has a great vision of the defense," Taggart said of DeRuyter. "They see my fit as one of the middle backers, where Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe are playing right now."
Sewell and Flowe may become one of the best linebacker tandems in the country this season. Taggart dabbled in the idea of playing alongside them, and he had high praise for the Ducks' linebackers.
"It would be insane, getting to play under some of the best linebackers in the nation, if not the best linebackers in the nation. Playing under the best, you just strive to be the best."
Taggart had an unofficial host on his visit — Jackson Powers-Johnson, a Corner Canyon grad and 2021 Oregon signee. Powers-Johnson showed Taggart and his father around campus while simultaneously recruiting him to commit to Oregon.
"He definitely wants me there, and he's recruiting pretty hard," Taggart said of the Ducks offensive lineman. "He and I have grown up together; we went to the same elementary school."
Taggart and Corner Canyon, the No. 24 team on MaxPrep's top 25 high school rankings, begin their season in two weeks, looking to defend their three consecutive state titles. He is planning to take official visits to Oregon, UCLA, and Utah during the season.
He plans to make his commitment by his birthday on Sept. 23, but he is in no rush to make a decision.
"My family and I are taking it one step at a time," he said. "We're making sure that I make the best decision for me and for my family. The last place I want to end up is in the transfer portal."
While he would love to be a day-one starter on the team that he commits to, he wants to prove himself and do whatever the coaches ask of him.
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