It has been a long time since Stanford has been a force to reckon with in the Pac-10. But Jim Harbaugh has brought a renewed since of energy and optimism to the Palo Alto campus and with the recruitment of some highly touted prospects, it looks as though the talent level is making a very quick transformation. On Tuesday afternoon that transformation continued with the commitment of the fourth four-star prospect to date in Stanford's 2009 recruiting class.
Mansfield, Texas running back Stepfan Taylor will be taking his 5-foot-11, 205-pound frame to northern California to add a dangerous running back threat to the Cardinal backfield.
"Yes sir, I committed to Stanford," Taylor said. "I did it earlier today, probably around noon. I was on the visit on the 25th and I basically loved the campus, the people and the academics and opportunities after football."
Taylor, who held offers from schools such as Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Wisconsin, stressed that the academic opportunities were one of the biggest deciding factors.
"When I went up there, the academics were real high and people know about Stanford," he said. "People look at you different with a Stanford degree. There are more opportunities. I can get some internships in the summer at a big time company if I want to and the coaching staff is putting together a great recruiting class so I feel like they're going to be very good in the future."
Though Taylor is firm in his commitment, he is considering taking a look at some other programs on official visits, a thought that has the blessing of Coach Harbaugh.
"I'm going to visit Stanford, I know that," he said. "They said I could take other visits. I may go just to check out some other schools and take a vacation I guess."
With his season's practice beginning on the 11th of August, Taylor said he felt good to get this decision behind him.
"It takes a big load off me because I was stressed but it doesn't really phase me for football. I just felt that that was the school I would end up at so I went ahead and did it."
Taylor is a huge commitment for Jim Harbaugh's staff, and continues a strong presence in the state of Texas during his tenure. Taylor joins Klein Oak three-star tight end product Jordan Najvar from the 2009 class as well as Rivals100 prospect Andrew Luck from the class of 2008 as Lone Star State products flocking to Palo Alto.