Stepfan Taylor (Ste-PHON) wasted no time in a Saturday phone call with The Bootleg.
"I found out Tuesday I got accepted to Stanford, so I'm going to end up going there," he said. "I was on the computer and then got a phone call from Coach Harbaugh. It's been a long process to find out whether I was admitted or not."
And Coach Harbaugh dragged out that process a few extra moments for Taylor on Tuesday.
"He said, ‘We tried everything to get you in,' and sounded real sad," Taylor reports. "And at first, I was like, 'Oh man.' But then, almost under his breath, I heard him say I was accepted. My heart stopped and I got real excited."
That news made for a lot of happy people in the Taylor household and at Mansfield (Tex.) HS.
"I couldn't believe it at first," Taylor said. "It's a big relief. My mom, she's real excited. She called all my family and told them, and they were real excited for me. My counselors and teachers were telling me congrats too."
Taylor says he's a solid commit to Stanford ("I'm planning on signing,") and has wanted to go to the Farm ever since a fateful visit back in July. That's a major shift in mindset from the first time Taylor heard from the Cardinal.
"Actually, when I first got the letter from Stanford, I tossed it to the side," Taylor said. "I thought they were an Ivy League school and didn't know where it was. But one of my counselors asked where I was being recruited, and I said Stanford, and she said, ‘Oh, you should go there.' So I checked it out and it ended up being my first visit. It kind of sucks for the other schools, because I fell in love with it and decided it's where I want to be."
Taylor also went back to The Farm for last weekend's Big Visit.
"It was real fun," he reports. "It was mostly for my parents because I had gone in July and saw the campus already. This time, I just wanted to hang out with the commits. My teammates are all down to earth and real cool. I'm ready to go compete with them."
CB Quinn Evans hosted Taylor, who roomed with fellow 2009 commit Levine Toilolo, a tight end. And while Toilolo's immediate path to the field may be tougher – Stanford is especially deep at tight end – there is a great opportunity for Taylor to make an immediate contribution at RB. 2008 starter Toby Gerhart, the school's single-season record holder for rushing yards, has yet to decide upon whether he'll return next year, as the professional baseball draft beckons for the two-sport star. Plus, Anthony Kimble, last year's No. 2 running back, has graduated, leaving definite room in the backfield for a 2009 commit.
"They don't really know the status with the running backs right now," Taylor said. "Me and the other running backs just have to be ready right now to compete and can have a good amount of playing time. The coaches say the door's open, you just have to compete."
Like most players, Taylor says he would prefer getting on the field in 2009 to redshirting.
"I'm ready to play," he said. "I'm ready to try to make an impact."
Taylor, who is undecided but thinking of a business-related major, reports 35 offers, including Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Louisville, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Baylor and Houston. And had Stanford admissions gotten back to Taylor with a "no," the tailback said he likely would have ended up at one of two other schools.
"It probably would have been Missouri," Taylor said. "One of my teammates from last year is up there and really wanted me to go. Or, I would have stayed around town and gone to TCU. Those probably would have been my next choices."
Luckily for Taylor, and luckily for the Card, those contingency plans won't be realized. Taylor is excited, as he believes his 2009 class is just the start of good things to come.
"I believe this 2009 class, and the years' to follow, is going to turn around the Stanford program because they're doing great job recruiting people with grades and who can play football," Taylor said. "I think fans need to be excited, because we're going to turn this program around."
Stay tuned to The Bootleg as the rest of the 2009 class takes shape!
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg ? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up )!