Bob Stoops couldn’t keep the grin off his face. Mike Stoops compared him to Aaron Colvin.
The Oklahoma coaching staff’s reaction when asked about Stanvon Taylor on signing day could be a lot of pressure for a freshman. But the cornerback signee has taken all the praise in stride.
Before he arrived on campus in early June, Taylor spoke with SoonerNation about the expectations, learning behind Colvin and what he hopes to improve heading into his freshman season.
SoonerNation: How have things gone since signing day?
Stanvon Taylor: Everything has been going good. I got my [workout] book during basketball season so I’ve just been checking out the book and combining some of those workouts in with some of mine to make myself better before I get down there.
SN: Anything in particular you’ve focused on?
Taylor: Really just gaining weight so I could be college-ready. And working my techniques and talking with Aaron for small pointers on things to work on.
SN: He’s coming back, which is important for the Sooners, but it sounds like it’s important for you as well.
Taylor: It’s great. I am glad to have him come back, return for his senior year so I can practice with him and learn from a great player.
SN: Do you know who you’re rooming with?
Taylor: I believe I’ll be with Dominique Alexander.
SN: What have the coaches told you about your potential role?
Taylor: Talking to Mike, he wants me to learn the corner position right behind Aaron and play the right side corner because it’s the tough side to play. He really wants me to work with Aaron and get better at that position. In the future, I’ll be ready to take that role.
SN: What are your thoughts on playing that position?
Taylor: It’s a good feeling. Knowing they recruited me to play corner instead of offense it shows that they see a lot of potential in me. It just makes me want to work harder, want to be better.
SN: Have you thought about the long-term impact of playing corner since there’s a increased need for corners at all levels of football?
Taylor: From a lot of people’s standpoint, corner is the hardest position on the field. Having the ability to do that is a blessing. I’m ready to work hard, be the best I could be at the position.
SN: What excites you the most about getting to Norman?
Taylor: The whole environment, especially the coaching staff. Playing with the Sooners is a great opportunity to be coached well and with Coach Smitty [Jerry Schmidt] and the weight-training program, everything will make me a better player. Playing for Bob Stoops and Mike Stoops is going to be great.
SN: Speaking of Smitty, what have you been told about summer workouts?
Taylor: It’s going to be tough. Come in mentally strong and everything is going to be fine.
SN: Are you looking forward to trying to separate yourself as someone who can help immediately?
Taylor: Oh, yeah. I’m going to bust my tail and work hard. To be the best ain’t easy. I’m going to work hard, push through the workouts and try to separate myself.
SN: Is there any part of you that feels pressure? Knowing OU needs corners and how much the coaches praised you on signing day?
Taylor: Not too much pressure. I just feel like the coaches have big expectations of me. And I don’t want to let them down. Working hard is the main thing on my mind. I don’t want to let the coaches down, or myself. I’m ready to work hard and live up to the expectations the coaches think I’m capable of.
SN: Have you thought about your expectations of yourself?
Taylor: Sometimes people let media stuff get to them, or this and that. Me, I’ve been self-focused and a team player and I want to make myself better and I’m going to take that same mentality to the college level.
SN: What about special teams?
Taylor: That haven’t really talked to me about it, but if I get an opportunity on kickoff or kickoff return, I’ll go out there and try to separate myself.
SN: When did you know OU was the right spot for you?
Taylor: The day they offered me I knew that’s where I wanted to go. When I got the offer, it was just a whole different feeling. Then and there, I knew it was the place for me.
SN: When you leave OU, what do you want your legacy to be?
Taylor: I want people to say he was a great player, great student-athlete, great guy on campus who wanted to help others and make everyone around me better, especially the guys that will be under me at the position I’m playing. I just want to be someone they can learn from and be a great alumni for the Oklahoma Sooners football team.