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April 18, 2012
In the first couple days of the spring evaluation period, Stanvon Taylor picked up phone calls from one school that has been high on his list for a while, and two new programs trying to enter the picture.
The Texas Longhorns, who have been recruiting Taylor for a while, put in a call. Notre Dame and Kansas also reached out to let Taylor know they were throwing their name into the mix for the versatile athlete.
Taylor, out of Tulsa East Central, has been in contact with Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina for the past couple months as the two work to develop a recruiting relationship. On Sunday, the first day coaches were allowed to call recruits in the 2013 class, Akina called Taylor to tell him he's high on the Longhorns' list.
"Really, he was just informing me that they can officially call us juniors now. He was just letting me know that he was making sure he called his top recruits to let them know they're the recruits being called on the first day.
"He was just telling me he was going to try to come down in May to see me at the school. He was telling me how everything was going, how their spring game went."
All the calls came as a bit of a surprise to Taylor, who was unaware that college coaches could reach out via the telephone.
"I was glad. I didn't know. I had a missed call and it was from coach Akina. I told my mom that he had called and she said 'I don't think he's supposed to call.' Then I checked my voicemail. He let me know that it was the first day. When I called him back, told me about it.
"Before we got off the phone, he said he really wanted me to know they're interested. He said before offering, he'd like to come meet me in person, see how I am in person before taking that step."
Taylor had hoped to take an unofficial visit to Texas earlier this spring, possibly for UT's spring game on April 1, but his plans and/or transportation fell through. His family is trying to work out the logistics for a future trip.
"(Akina and my mom talked about me coming down. I don't really know the details of how the conversation went, but I know my mom does want to come down and check it out. We may come down sometime this spring and maybe for a camp too," Taylor said.
While Taylor has had previous contact with Texas, the calls from Notre Dame and Kansas were a bit more out of the blue.
"Notre Dame said they were going to stop through and see me. They said they watched my film and want to see me in person. That was my first time ever talking to them, so I really didn't know they were interested," Taylor said. "With Kansas, it was the safeties coach. He was telling how their program has been the past couple years with coaches fired, how the program was going now with new coaching staff. He was telling me how they're looking to recruit the program, that he's going to get close with me during the recruiting process."
Taylor currently holds offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Tulsa and Utah State. He's keeping all options open, but at the moment lists a flexible group of favorites from among the schools that have offered.
"I guess the schools that I've started to base things off are the schools that I have offers from so far. I would say probably my top four would be Kansas State, Arkansas, Texas Tech and Tulsa," Taylor said. "Houston is in there too."
As for the Longhorns, Texas is a program that sits in a strong position, but Taylor wants to wait to see how sincere UT's interest is before grouping them among his list of favorites.
"I've always really been interested in them. They're always at the top. It's just a thing of getting an offer from them," Taylor said. "I'm kind of waiting on that before getting too much into it."
The 5-11, 172-pound Taylor excels on both sides of the ball for Tulsa East Central. Most schools are recruiting him as a defensive back, but a handful of programs have told him he could also get a look on offense at the next level. Taylor has no preferences on where he lines up.
Taylor is currently keeping busy with track and football workouts as he tries to add strength and increase his speed. When schools begin to stop by for his school's football spring season later this month, Taylor hopes to show the coaches that he's taken his game up a notch.
"I just want to show everyone that comes out that I haven't changed, if anything I've gotten better," Taylor said. "I'll play wide receiver and corner. Most schools are recruiting me as a corner."
Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State are the programs that are looking at Taylor on both offense and defense.