Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart, a redshirt senior from Tualatin High School (Tualatin, Oregon), enters his fifth season in the Oregon program.
Before joining the Ducks, Hart was an offensive and defensive standout starting on both sides of the line as an offensive tackle and defensive end. He was honored by the Tacoma News Tribune as a top-100 northwest prospect and earned their ‘Northwest Nuggets’ Honorable Mention. Rivals ranked Hart as the No. 26 DE in the country while Scout listed him at No. 45 for the class of 2009. Superprep Magazine called Hart the No. 1 player from the state of Oregon in his class.
In 2009, Hart spent his first season in Eugene redshirting while participating as a member of the scout team. He earned scout team defensive player-of-the-week for his contributions in preparation against the Arizona Wildcats.
In 2010, Hart had a major reserve role as an interior lineman and appeared in all 13 of the Ducks’ games – including action in the national championship game against Auburn. Hart finished the year with 18 total tackles (10 unassisted, eight assisted) with 2.0 tackles for loss (both sacks) and one pass deflection. His standout games were in wins over Washington (season-high four tackles and a sack) and USC (season-high 27 plays).
In 2011, Hart had his breakout season. He was one of two d-linemen to start all 14 games and finished 10th on the team in total tackles. He finished the year with 44 tackles (20 unassisted, 24 assisted), 3.0 tackles for loss (2.5 sacks), two pass deflections and one forced fumble. He earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention by the coaches and Pac-12 all-academic second team. His first career blocked kick came in a win at Arizona.
In 2012, Hart had one of the best seasons of any defensive lineman during the Chip Kelly era. Hart earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention again, Pac-12 all-academic second team again and the Schaffeld Trophy that goes to the team’s most outstanding defensive lineman. Hart finished the season with 36 tackles (24 unassisted, 12 assisted), 11 tackles for loss (8.0 sacks), three pass deflections, a forced fumble and recovery and a partridge in a pear tree. He ranked 11th on the team in tackles and tops of any defensive lineman. And his eight sacks were most on the team with linebacker Michael Clay coming in second with 3.0. Hart started 12-13 games while missing the Stanford game due to injury – replaced by Arik Armstead.
Going into the 2013 season, Hart will be the starter at defensive tackle for the third consecutive year. With another strong performance he has a legitimate shot of earning first or second team all-conference. CBS Sports has Hart as the No. 4 overall defensive end prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft behind Kareem Martin (North Carolina), Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas) and Ed Stinson (Alabama).