Post-BCS selection interview: Stepfan Taylor

Even though Stanford constantly rotates running backs, there's no questioning the fact that junior running back Stepfan Taylor is the team's workhorse. This season was Taylor's second straight with over 1,000 rushing yards, and he was second-team All-Pac-12.

The Bootleg caught up with Taylor after Monday's practice to get an early look at the team's preparations for the Fiesta Bowl, as well as some insight into his thoughts about the NFL Draft.

The Bootleg: What was your first reaction when you heard about the Fiesta Bowl?

Stepfan Taylor: It was a great reaction. We got excited, because we were fortunate to get into a BCS bowl game—and two years in a row, that's a good thing to have on your resume. Playing against OSU, it's a great team, so it should be exciting.

Did you watch Oklahoma State's game on Saturday?

ST: No, I didn't get to watch it. I forgot what I was doing, but my friend that goes OU, he called and was telling me, ‘Yeah, we're not going to make it to the bowl.' I went to ESPN and looked at the score, and it was all bad for OU.

What kind of preparation did you guys do last week? A lot of people were saying that Stanford was going to be in the Fiesta Bowl against the winner of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

ST: Coaches gave us the week off a little bit to get our legs back. I was in the training room, getting some treatment, staying flexible and staying loose—I didn't want to lock up or get tight or anything, ready for this week of practice. I just wanted to stay on top of my body, pretty much.

Did you get any film?

ST: Yeah, I watched a little film. We had some film on Oklahoma State up and I watched a little.

What does going to a second straight BCS bowl game mean to Stanford as a program?

ST: I think it's great for the program. Recruits see that and know that Stanford is on the rise. That can only help your program, if you go back to back. I think people take note of that, and you start hearing respect around the country.

What do you think the difference will be between this year's game and last year's Orange Bowl, especially considering the difference in competition?

ST: I mean, everybody just has to play their best game, because OSU is a great team. We've all seen what they've done throughout this whole season. We all have to be on top and healthy with our bodies and prepare for them.

Have you thought at all about entering the NFL Draft next year?

ST: No, I'm staying.

Why not go to the draft? Why would you choose to stay?

ST: I told my parents I was coming here to get my degree, so I have to stay. I just feel like that I can get another year in, improve a lot. I just want to be with the teammates that I came into class with and to go through four years of my career with them. There's a lot to come back for.

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