Family connections lead Taylor to WSU

WHEN ROBERT TAYLOR verballed to WSU on Saturday, it came as a bit of a surprise. He had two additional visits scheduled and had told CF.C he was planning on waiting before committing. But it turns out the lure of playing with fellow City College of San Francisco product Shalom Luani, plus a cousin from back home, proved to be too much to turn down.

Did you know that Taylor and WSU defensive back Suliaman Hameed are cousins? No? Well neither did we.

Over the weekend, the two were reunited in Pullman while Taylor was on his official visit to the Palouse. And after spending just a day out in Pullman with his family member, who he grew up playing with, and seeing what the community has to offer, the City College of San Francisco defensive back knew he wanted to go crimson.

“Honestly, I had a feeling going in I that might commit, but then it hit me once I was out there,” Taylor said. “Having someone from my family on the team is big for me. Suliaman plays safety and so does Shalom (Luani). Being able to play next to those guys while I’m out there was big for me in my decision.”

LUANI WAS A FORCE this season in his first year with the Cougs. He was also a big reason why Taylor committed, along with WSU area recruiter Jim Mastro, DC/DBs coach Alex Grinch and defensive assistant David Lose.

Lose, in his fourth year with WSU, has a long relationship with current CCSF head coach Jimmy Collins.

“Coach Lose is my guy,” Taylor said. “He has helped me out tremendously through this process. Him and my coach now are good friends. Lose is from the Bar Area too, so that’s something we’re able to connect on. Having him there is big for me as well.”

“David Lose, he’s not a position coach, but he and I are very good friends,” Collins told CF.C. “That’s what started a lot of this going back to Shalom. And then Coach Mastro and Coach Grinch came in. I think Coach Grinch has done a fantastic job with that defense and also in closing the deal with Robert.  It all started with me calling up David and letting him know we had some guys he needed to check out. Coach Grinch, I think he fell in love with Robert very quickly.” 

TAYLOR WILL HAVE have three years to play two at WSU. He will graduate in May and plans to head to Pullman the following month to get his Cougar career started.

After heading to UC-Davis following high school and then going to CCSF after in search of more playing time, the 5-11, 180-pounder said landing at a Pac-12 school is something he’s always dreamed of.

“They want me to play safety and I can’t wait to get up there,” he said. “We haven’t decided at which spot I’ll line up, but I’ll be ready wherever. I loved the Pullman vibe and I have a great relationship with the coaches.”

Prior to his visit to WSU, Taylor had official visits set to both Purdue and West Virginia. Those trips still going to take place?

“No,” Taylor said. “My recruitment is done and I’m 100 percent committed to Washington State.”

As a sophomore for CCSF this season, Taylor posted 43 tackles and recorded five interceptions. 

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