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Sitting in a computer class during his sophomore year at Hampton High School, Tyrod Taylor loosened the long braids he had in his hair, watched the clock and waited for class to end.

They were simpler days for Taylor — a time before all the wonderful madness began.

It was a year before he'd lead Hampton to its 17th state football championship. Two years before he'd be considered one of the nation's elite high school quarterbacks. Three years before he'd start his first college game. Four years before he'd commandeer a college team to an Orange Bowl victory. Five years before he'd lead that team to one of the most extraordinary comeback wins in school history. Six years before he'd be standing on the brink of likely winning the Atlantic Coast Conference's Player of the Year award.

One knock on the classroom door that afternoon put him on the path.

When he was asked to step into the hallway for a quick meet-and-greet with some distinguished visitors, he had no idea what was ahead. He just knew when he stepped outside that door and saw Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer standing there with nearly his entire assistant coaching staff, it was time to get serious.

"It was wild to walk out in the hallway and see all those coaches," Taylor said. "I was like, 'Whoa.' That blew me away. I think I just smiled at them. I really couldn't say anything, but it made me want to play harder."

Virginia Tech's coaches came to Hampton to visit with Todd Nolen, a highly recruited wide receiver that wound up signing a National Letter of Intent with Virginia Tech, but never playing a down with the Hokies. The coaches left Hampton High that day after starting a relationship with Taylor that would help define the future of their football program.

Virginina Tech became Taylor's college home. After not getting the advantage of a redshirt season to hone his skills — he split time as Virginia Tech's quarterback with Sean Glennon in his freshman and sophomore years — Taylor has established himself as one of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks in the last two seasons.

In the last two seasons, he has completed 58 percent of his passes for 4,393 yards, 32 touchdowns and just nine interceptions, while running for 959 yards and nine touchdowns. In limited duty in his first two seasons, he completed a combined 56 percent of his passes for 1,963 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions to go along with 1,167 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

He heads into Saturday's game against Virginia, which will be his last in Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium, with a lengthy list of accomplishments to his credit.

No quarterback in Beamer's 24 seasons as Virginia Tech's coach has more wins (32) as a starter, which is the personal achievement Taylor said makes him most proud. No wonder Beamer refers to Taylor as "perfect."

Taylor is first on Virginia Tech's career list for rushing yards by a quarterback (2,126), first in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (22), tied for first for most 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback (six), first in total offense (8,482 yards), second in passing yards (6,356 yards) behind Bruton High graduate Bryan Randall (6,508 yards) and fourth in passing touchdowns (39) behind Randall (48).

Of course, a few years before he started at Hampton High, starting a love affair with all things Virginia Tech-related would've seemed far-fetched. After seeing former Hampton Crabbers like Almondo "Muffin" Curry, Raymond Mann and Marques Hagans all head to the University of Virginia, Taylor couldn't help but be drawn to Charlottesville.

"Tech fans will hate me for this, but growing up, I used to watch a lot of U.Va. because Muffin and a lot of those guys were there," Tyrod said.

Curry, who played cornerback and special teams for U.Va. in 2000, got tickets for Taylor and his father, Rodney, to come out to Blacksburg in the '00 season to see U.Va. play Tech. It was the last home game for Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick, a Warwick High graduate. He led the Hokies to a 42-21 win with 202 yards passing.

"Before those (Hampton High) guys went to U.Va., we'd all go up to games at U.Va. all the time," Curry said. "(Taylor) probably went to more Virginia games than any other school. I kind of thought that might persuade him to go to Virginia, especially since Marques Hagans was going to be leaving when (Taylor) was kind of coming in, but he had to make his own choice."

Witnessing more than 57,000 fans crammed inside Lane Stadium had a profound effect on 11-year-old Taylor. He started to understand the appeal of Virginia Tech.

"I remember when we were walking out of the stadium and I said to (Tyrod), 'It'd be funny if one of these schools wanted you one day'" Rodney said. "We laughed, but then it came full circle. Those schools did want him."

As did nearly every other big-time college football program in the country.