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A Story Behind the Story

When told recently that Demetrius Taylor wanted to be an FBI agent, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer arched his eyebrows and said, “Is that right?”

What was widely known about Taylor, a Hokies’ defensive tackle, is his strength. Taylor, a fifth-year senior, is among the strongest players in Virginia Tech’s program.

In the summer strength and conditioning program, he set defensive tackle records in the bench press (475 pounds), front squat (465), power clean (380) and the push jerk (410). His performance has earned him, along with tight end Greg Boone, the Super Ironman Hokie Award, for strength and conditioning excellence, more than any other Hokies football players.

But where did his power come from?

“Ever since he’s been younger,” said his father, Demetrius Sr., “he’s been stronger, more muscular than other kids.”

In fact, his father said, when Taylor was in day care, the teacher asked his parents if he lifted weights. Taylor, however, did not start lifting weights until his freshman year of high school. Before that, Taylor was just naturally strong.

“When he started full-contact football, he would light those little boys up, and they couldn’t take it,” his father said. “His name starting getting around the community, and when he got to middle school, you could tell he had a future in football because he had a natural athletic ability on the field.”

Taylor came to Virginia Tech as a linebacker but was moved to defensive tackle. He now weighs 274 pounds, bulking up from his freshman body weight of 234. But he has also retained his athleticism; he has a 34-inch vertical jump and run the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds.

Taylor has never owned a starting role, although he made his first career start in Saturday’s 31-7 win over Miami, playing in place of the injured John Graves.

No. 6 Virginia Tech (3-1, 1-0 ACC) takes on Duke (2-2) on Saturday in Durham, N.C.

By Mark Viera  |  September 29, 2009; 8:10 AM ET
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