The Award-Winning Magazine Offering The Most Complete Coverage of Sooner Sports
  HOME FEATURE STORY SUBSCRIBE OU SPORTS IN THE NEWS COVER ARCHIVE WRITERS CONTACT US      ADVERTISE
More Recent Stories

King's Corner

NFL Spotlight

Boomer Bio

Lincoln Riley Q&A

Keys To Success

End of an Era

Stepping Down

Dominating Force

2017 Recruiting

OU finished off a memorable 2016 season on high note

Road Warrior

Emmanuel Beal Q&A

Fast & Furious

Road Warrior

OU vs. Texas: By The Numbers

King's Corner

Steven Parker Q&A

Orlando Brown Q&A

Speed Burner

King's Corner

Next Step

Welcome Home

QB Questions?

Common Cause

Right on Target

Flying High at No. 1

Headed North

Playoff Bound

Dominique Alexander Q&A

California Connection

Red River Rejuvenation

To The Point

Ty Darlington Q&A

Aaron Ripkowski Q&A

Sooner Flashback: Jakie Sandefer

Next Generation

Hiring Time

Sooners hire new offensive coordinator

Samaje Perine Q&A

Aaron Ripkowski Q&A

Mike Stoops Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

All in the Family

Road Warrior

On Point

King's Corner

Sugar Bowl Review

Editorial

OU to meet Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Josh Heupel Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

Boomer Bio

The Closer

Sooner Success

Mike Stoops Q&A

Bill Bedenbaugh Q&A

Spring Football Review

Spring Football Review

To The Point

Boomer Bio: Julian Wilson

Boomer Bio: Chuka Ndulue

Boomer Bio: Bronson Irwin

Jalen Saunders Q&A

Patience Rewarded

Boomer Bio: Sterling Shepard

Taylor-made for Oklahoma

Tony Jefferson Q&A

Attention Getter

A Change of Plans

A Change of Plans

Proud Heritage

Hot Commodity

Boomer Bio; James Winchester

Boomer Bio; James Winchester

Boomer Bio: Aaron Ripkowski

Cornerstone

Playmaker

Playmaker

Strictly Striker

Javon Harris Q&A

Boomer Bio: Austin Haywood

Locked In & Loaded

Ben Habern Q&A

Landry Jones Q&A

The Classics

Top Ten Recruits

Bonus Prospects

Oklahoma Influences

Tight End Tough

Marquis On The Mark

Sooner Stars Set To Return

Jeremy Beal Q&A

Jamell Fleming Q&A

Boomer Bio: Trey Millard

Stacy McGee Q&A

Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

James Patton Q&A

Boomer Bio: Eric Mensik

Quarterback Race

Quarterback Race

Boomer Bio: Kenny Stills

Boomer Bio: Marshall Musil

Getting His Kicks

Making The Right Moves In Recruiting

Bradford looks sharp in workout

No Doubt About It

Boomer Bio: Willie Martinez

Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Norman Bound

Showdown In The Sun

Jay Norvell Q&A

Jay Norvell Q&A

Boomer Bio: Dejuan Miller

Adrian Taylor doing just fine

Joseph Ibiloye Q&A

The Real Deal

Road Warrior

Meet Dusty Dvoracek This Saturday!

Casey Walker Q&A

Best of The Red River Rivalry

Bradford To Start Against Baylor

Facebook & Football

Tackling Machine

Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

Josh Heupel Q&A

Boomer Bio: Stephen Good

Top Targets

Brent Venables Q&A

Boomer Bio: Cory Brandon

Tisdale and Griffin

Wayman Tisdale Dies

Sam Bradford Q&A

Auston English Q&A

Blake Griffin earns Naismith Award

Ryan Reynolds Q&A

The Wait Is Over

Outlook for 2009

Outlook for 2009

Staying Put

Bradford, Gresham, Williams Coming Back

Make Room For Sam

Lendy Holmes Q&A

Bradford Wins Heisman

Heisman Material

Boomer Bio: Frank Alexander

Sooners Headed To KC For Big 12 Title Game

Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact

Gerald McCoy Q&A

Gerald McCoy Q&A

Offensive linemen Roundtable

Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

Travis Lewis Q&A

Travis Lewis Q&A

Auston English Q&A

Jackie Shipp Q&A

Bob Stoops Q&A

Boomer Bio

They’ve Got It Covered

Bradford Talks About Sooner Experience

Big Dreams

Plenty Of Things To Chew on this Offseason

Marcus Walker Q&A

Looking Ahead

Greater Expectations

Manny Being Manny

The Big Easy

Super Sidekick

English Lesson

Revved Up & Remodeled

Firmly Committed

A Cut Above

The Definition of Rivalry

On The Rise

Irresistible Force

Bookends

Bradford Named Starting QB

Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & Rivals.com Teaming Up

Final Chapter

Catching Up With Sumlin

Welcome Back Little Joe

Wilson’s Defensive Wisdom

Reggie Smith Q&A

Malcolm Over The Middle

Fantastic Five

Thompson & Alexander To Sign Autographs

WE'RE BACK!!!!

GET READY FOR THE RETURN OF SOONER SPECTATOR!

OU’s Greatest

Boomer Bio: Brody Eldridge

Boomer Bio: Fred Strong

Dual Threat: Stephen Garcia

Thirty Reasons Why OU will beat Texas

Double Duty

Kody Cooke: A Conversation

Boomer Bio: Lendy Holmes

Welcome Back

Quick Five With Nic Harris

Road Warrior

The Opposition

Defensive Backing

Recruiting: Crimson Bloodline

Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

Defensive Outlook

Top Shelf: Austin Box

Rufus Revelations

Reaction to Capel Hiring

A.D. Unscripted

OU will miss Sampson

OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

Gray, OU prep for The Dance

Moore is Better

Sooners eye stretch run

Haskell remains a lost treasure

Boomer Bio: Patty Gasso

Sherri Coale Conversation

Taylor Made

Future Considerations

McCoy becomes a Sooner

Michael Neal Q&A

Recruiting: Dominique Franks Q&A

Strong Willed

Football Recruiting Notes

Remembering Billy Ball

Enough Gloom & Doom

Back In Business

Endowed Scholarships Announced

USC or Texas: The Lesser of Two Evils?

Stoops is not leaving OU

Sooners down Ducks in Holiday Bowl

Biding His Time

Kelvin Sampson Q&A

Next Stop Division I

Boomer Bio: Allen Patrick

Chris Messner Q&A

Bob Stoops' take on Bedlam Victory

Terrance Anderson's Journey

OU vs. Tech: The Answers

OU vs. Tech Matchups

Road Warrior

Stoops talks about OU's 36-30 win

OU vs. A&M matchups

OU Coaches’ Roundtable

Recruiting: Derek Burton

Boomer Bio: Juaquin Iglesias

Carl Pendleton Q&A

Sooners topple Huskers in Lincoln

OU-Nebraska Matchups

Recruiting: Ugo Chinasa

Sooners top Baylor

OU vs. Baylor Matchups

Recruiting: Offensive Line

Recruiting: Adron Tennell

Sooners top Jayhawks

OU vs. Kansas Matchups

Boomer Bio

A Pleasant Conversation

Texas tops Oklahoma

Red River Rivarly Matchups

Dusty Dvoracek: In The Trenches

Sooners Roll Past K-State

OU vs. K-State Matchups

Recruiting: Replenishing The Backfield

Boomer Bio

Sooners give one away

Recruiting Demarco Murray

C.J. Ah You Q&A

The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

Not Pretty, But Sooners Win

Spectator Sneak Preview

Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

Texas Christian Sacks Sooners

Moses leads Sooner tight ends

Rufus Alexander Q&A

Thompson gets nod at QB

Birdine Lost For Season

Sampson to Visit Kuwait for Hoops with Troops

Walk-on making noise at WR

Travis Wilson Q&A

Clint Ingram Q&A

Sooners open fall practice

Brent Venables Q&A

Sooner single-game tickets go on sale Monday

Questions about Sooners' aura not surprising

Joseph talks about summer workouts

OU at Big 12 Media Days

Kim Named to U.S. Walker Cup Team

Sooners name Golloway

Stephenson decides to stay at Wichita State

Stephenson takes OU head baseball job

Soon to be Sooners

New Sooner Nic Harris excited about new digs

2005 Season Preview Issue Available Now!!

Letter from the Editor

Q and A

Ever Elusive

Sooner Selections

Ole Miss powers past Sooners

OU's Weekly Sports Report

OU inks JUCO point guard

OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title

White and Vermeil talk about first day of rookie camp

White gets a chance with Kansas City

Red Rallies to Down White

Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




On Sale at newsstands August 27!
Taylor-made for Oklahoma
Future Sooner DB healthy and set to make impact in final prep season

The 2011 football season was less than memorable for Stanvon Taylor. The talented defensive back suffered a broken ankle in Tulsa East Central’s season opener against Stillwater and spent a major portion of the fall rehabbing.

Like a lot of top prep prospects, Taylor went into his junior season with big expectations, hoping to impress college coaches and help lead his team to success on the field.

When that opportunity was lost, Taylor focused on getting healthy, getting back into the lineup and not getting lost in the recruiting shuffle. Despite the serious nature of his injury, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder accomplished all three goals.

“I just sat down and talked to my coach about everything after I got hurt," said Taylor. “He already knew I was out there on the (recruiting) radar from my sophomore year. I had pretty good stats. He just told me, ‘Don’t worry about it. Just rehab and come back better.’”

As it turned out, the recruiters didn't stray too far, and Taylor made it back to play in a couple of games before East Central was eliminated in the playoffs.

“The main thing was I was just trying to get back and play,” said Taylor. “The whole recovery process went really, really good. I was three weeks (ahead) in my recovery. It came (down) to a decision if they wanted to take the chance to play me or not and just wait until this year.

“It was a three-month recovery, and I was back in a month and a half. Everything went good.”

For many athletes who suffer a major injury, being able to trust that the body part has healed completely can be the most difficult part of the process. Taylor was no exception.

“The hardest part was the physical part,” said Taylor. “Probably cutting was the hardest thing I had to overcome. I wasn’t planting as hard as I usually did on the ankle. After a while, it just came back to me naturally.”

But it was after Taylor showed his skills off in other sports at East Central that his football recruiting really heated up.

“My coach told me to play basketball, which I was able to do,” said Taylor. “That helped a lot because football coaches were wondering if the ankle was OK. A lot of coaches came and saw me play basketball and then I went to track. I do long jump and jumped off the ankle I broke.

“I still did good and jumped 23 feet off that ankle, and a lot of coaches felt I was back. I’d say during track, my whole football recruiting picked up a lot. I really don’t feel it fell off at all. It was a pretty good deal for me.”

With Taylor's ankle healed and his confidence restored, the colleges started pouring in after him. He received offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Ole Miss and Tulsa University.
Taylor had been getting offers from schools since the end of his sophomore campaign, so he wasn’t shocked when those offers started to multiply.

“Going into my sophomore year, I started getting letters from TU and Utah State,” said Taylor. “At first, it was a few schools. It was exciting to me. I was just really happy. My coach was happy. He said, ‘Now the show is rolling — just keep doing what you’re doing. Get better and better, and one of them will come.’ From then on, it just made me pick up the work and work harder.”

In the meantime, Taylor was waiting on one school in particular.

“Ever since I went down (to Norman) for a football game my sophomore year and went on a little tour, I just liked everything about it,” said Taylor. “The feeling inside of me was, ‘This was where I wanted to go.’ I had always liked Oklahoma since I started playing football in fifth grade. They have always been a favorite for me. The whole program — once I got to learn more about it and college football, I was just the place for me.”

The Sooners offered Taylor a scholarship in late April, but he waited until May 4 before accepting it.

“A lot of people expected me to commit the day they offered,” said Taylor. “But I just kind of wanted to wait and make sure it was the right decision. I waited a couple of weeks and talked to my mom every day. I just finally gave in. I called up Coach (Jackie) Shipp and let him know he can count me in.”

Taylor said he will be the first member of his family to ever play division I athletics. And because his mother, Tiffany Taylor, and grandmother, Doretha Taylor, made sure academics haven’t taken a back seat to athletics, he looks forward to graduating from Oklahoma.

It didn’t hurt the Sooners’ chances that Taylor’s favorite player is former Sooner Adrian Peterson. He’s looking forward to the opportunity to meet him one day.

“He’s still one of my favorite players to this day,” said Taylor. “He plays a whole different position, but I just look up to him. It’s going to be a dream come true, meeting my favorite player. I’ve been watching him since he was at OU. It’s going to be fun.”

In Taylor, the Sooners will be getting a bona fide playmaker. Whether at wide receiver on offense or cornerback on defense, he has shown an ability to be a game changer.

Prior to breaking his ankle in the first game last season, Taylor returned an interception 70 yards.

“A high school defensive back and wide receiver, Taylor projects as a cornerback in college,” said a recruiting analyst. "Taylor uses the ball skills developed on the offensive side of the ball to break on the football while playing defensive back and finish plays with interceptions. With solid size for the position, Taylor only needs to refine his technique and add some muscle mass to a lean frame that can at times be beaten off the ball by stronger receivers.

“Overall, he deserves the playmaker label, and it's not a stretch to call him a gamer as well."

The Sooners will be losing senior defensive backs Demontre Hurst and Javon Harris to graduation at the end of the 2012 season. Plus, there is always the chance one or two other OU defensive backs could turn pro.

Taylor would still have to battle through a number of underclassmen who have been waiting their turn earn playing time. But he just wants to help the Sooners any way he can.

"I’m a quiet guy out here making plays,” said Taylor. "Whenever my coach calls on me, I never want to let him down. I do what I do and try to make the best of every play every time I get the ball and even when I don’t have it. Whether it's blocking or creating for somebody else — I try to do everything I can to help my team out. I'm just a big-time playmaker. I like to make plays.

“I’m just a kid who is working hard trying to make my dreams a reality.”

(Editor's Note: This story is featured in the August Football Preview issue of Sooner Spectator. To subscribe, go to wee.soonerspectator.com)