Life is good for Taylor Marini.
The Lake Mary tight end received his first college football scholarship offer last month, is fresh off a district weightlifting title and just picked up his second BCS offer on Saturday from USF, giving him three total.
“It’s always great to see the fruits of your labor,” Marini said. “As hard as I work, it’s always great to see the results in the end.”
Marini (6-4, 230) is far from the end, though, and things are just beginning to pick up.
Louisville offered him earlier this month and then FIU jumped aboard shortly after.
Things moved to a different level when Marini was offered by USF on Saturday while attending the team’s practice.
“It feels great. USF is an awesome school,” Marini said. “They did great at practice today and it was awesome talking to the coaches. I’m very fortunate for what’s happened so far.”
Marini said the facilities and team’s intensity during practice really stood out to him.
Marini, ranked No. 39 in the Sentinel’s 2013 Central Florida Super 60, is going on the offensive with the recruiting process and will start visiting schools.
Two weekends ago, he made the short drive to UCF. It’s a school he’s been to many times — his father, Tony Marini, played basketball at UCF in the 80s and his family has season tickets for football — but his ability to watch the team’s spring practice up close gave him a different perspective.
“I really like the intensity of practice, the way everything was run,” Marini said. “It was very professional, which is only to be expected of a big-time Division I university like UCF. It never ceases to amaze me what UCF does. It was certainly an honor being there and I look forward to going back in the future.”
Marini said his father talks about the drastic change to the athletic program — and school in general — since he played at UCF, but he insists that his father’s ties to the university or UCF’s proximity to his house will not play a role in his recruitment.
“I don’t know if I call it an advantage. I definitely want to receive the best education I can get and see where I fit in a program,” Marini said. “But I love how they run a pro-style offense, I love their coaching staff. [Tight end coach] Coach [Allen] Mogridge is a great guy, so they’re definitely up at the top of my list right now.”
UCF is still in its recruiting evaluation process, but the Knights are expected to eventually offer Marini.
While he awaits an offer from the Knights, Marini will continue to travel around the state to check out other programs. He plans on visiting FIU and Miami, and was also invited to an Alabama camp later this summer.
Rutgers is also heavily recruiting Marini and he said he might be high on their board as well.
“Things are starting to finally pick up,” Marini said. “It’s definitely a validation for as hard as you work and make the right choices on and off the field.”
Brendan Sonnone is the Sentinel's recruiting correspondent and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @BSonnone or Facebook at Brendan Sonone or at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.