Things were going just as planned for Keenan Taylor when he made a verbal commitment to Kansas State.....that was until KSU fired Head Coach Ron Prince and put his future at KSU in jeopardy. Following the firing of Prince, Taylor looked around in his backyard and found Oklahoma State very willing to bring the star O-Lineman in for a visit and try and sway him to sign with the Cowboys.
"When Coach Prince got fired I started looking around. I started looking at some other schools and Oklahoma State then. Then Coach Snyder got hired and they started recruiting me all over again. I had taken a visit to Oklahoma State and then I took a visit to Kansas State to compare things," Taylor told KStateFans.
The 6-foot-5 natural offensive tackle who is credited with 45 career pancake blocks according to the The Tulsa World, said that the coaching changes at Kansas State actually helped him make a decision.
"I went into Coach Dickey's office this weekend on my visit and we watched practice film from Utah and I just looked at their drills. He (OL Coach Dickey) is a good coach and we just watched the Utah drills together and he showed me some things just from watching their drills I can use. I already learned a lot just watching the Utah drills. I know that he put lots of offensive linemen in the NFL. I know he is going to be able to help me," said the star lineman.
Knowing that Oklahoma was making a strong push to sign him, Taylor said that his visit this weekend to Kansas State was THE factor that re-affirmed his decision to play at K-State.
"When I took my visit I knew. They (Coach Snyder and Staff) were recruiting me all over again and when I went on my visit, that is when I knew that I was solid there."
Past that however is the fact that Head Coach Bill Snyder brought Keenan into his office to discuss his future with the Wildcats.
"Coach Snyder brought me into his office and asked me if I was solid. I told him 'I am solid!' I like Coach Snyder, he is a good coach and I talked to all the players and they are all excited he is back. All the players I know are talking about winning games and that they will win games. They want to win the Big 12 North and the players I talked to all say they are excited with Coach Snyder there. They all want to win there."
Asked if Oklahoma State continues to recruit him, Taylor answered the only way a recruit that is committed elsewhere could: "I do not even talk to them."
Although leaving the State of Oklahoma to play his college football elsewhere will be difficult, Keenan says that it is the best decision for him.
"I felt like I wanted to get out of the state. I will be bringing Oklahoma people with me though," said Keenan half-heartedly.
Playing for Tulsa Washington High School, Taylor will is playing in a scheme that will be similar to what the Cats will look to employ in Manhattan and he says that he is looking forward to playing in a spread offense.
"I like the offense. I like what we are going to run, a zone offense with a mobile quarterback. We play that style here and I am comfortable playing in that style of offense. I like the zone reads and a quarterback who runs and is mobile. I like that he (the WB) does not get sacked playing in this offense."
Hosted by current Wildcat and Offensive Lineman Nick Stringer, Taylor gives his visit to Manhattan a nine and said he enjoyed meeting future teammates and other recruits.
"I would rate it a 9. Really I would give it a 9 or a 9 and a half. Not a ten because the weather was not that good. Nick Stringer was my host, he was cool. We all got along and just hung out together and played video games and watched films and talked with the staff about academics. I got to hang out with Tramaine (Thompson) and we got along," said Taylor following his visit this weekend.
When asked about his visit more in-depth, Taylor said that there was more than a couple of points that stood out about his visit to the Little Apple.
"Academics. Probably more than sports they talk to you more about academics than anything else and more then sports. I am not sure what I want to major in. I will decide when I get there and can look through what majors they have but academics stood out there."
A natural fit at tackle in high school, Taylor says he will most likely make the switch to guard for KSU.
"Coach Dickey told me that I can play early but at guard instead of tackle. I will play guard probably then to get on the field. I like tackle and the feeling of being isolated out there. I like being able to use my feet and move to make plays but I want to play early and so I am going to move to guard. Coach Dickey told me that he likes how I finish my blocks and my footwork. he also told me that he likes my vision, my view and how I see things on the field and that is why I will be a good guard," Taylor said of Coach Dickey.
Although he dominated at times in high school, Taylor says he has some things still he needs to work on before he makes it to college.
"Right now I think my feet are the strongest part of my game. Moving out there and being alone and making plays. I know I will get stronger at guard. I am 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 and most tackles are 6-foot-6 or taller. I am more of a guard because of my size."
Looking forward to his career at KSU, Taylor says he has a couple short and long term goals already in mind before he ever even steps on a football field.
"Really I want to get there and get my degree. I want to play early> I am going to move over to guard just so I can play early and I would like to get that degree and then go to the NFL."
Planning on signing his official letter of intent at a press conference at his school, Keenan had this to say to the Wildcat Nation: "I am going to buy a K-State hat this weekend. I'm Solid to K-State. After my visit there, I am pretty solid."
You got to give credit to a kid that does his homework and Keenan Taylor certainly took the time to evaluate and choose the best decision for him - Welcome to Kansas State Keenan!