As a sophomore it was well know that he was going to be a star for one of the state's most consistent programs. But after seeing his junior year almost completely lost due to injury there was a lull for Stanvon Taylor; some doubted how well he would come back from the injury and if he could be the same explosive players that he was early in his career.
14 games, 67, receptions, 1,107 yards, a state championship game berth, and it's safe to say that Taylor made his way back and beyond the player many expected when he was earmarked for greatness as just a freshman. Four years later SoonerScoop.com has pegged Taylor as the state Player of the Year.
Perhaps as amazing as anything is that while Taylor was fighting through his own injury and trying to return the only coach he'd ever known in high school was, somewhat unceremoniously, relieved of his duties only to see his replacement fired just weeks later for off field transgressions.
In walked Bobby Klinck, who as a Gatorade player of the year at Jenks in 2001 is an Oklahoma prep legend in his own right, to try and get a tumultuous offseason underway for a team that many thought had the ability to compete for a 5A state title.
"Oh man, it was a bit of adjustment, just coming in and playing under a new coaching staff because I'd played for the previous staff for the three years I'd been there," Taylor said. "I just told myself either way it goes whether it's a coach I want there or a coach that has taken the job. At the time when we didn't have a coach, I worked out and we got with other guys. We just said 'we have to stick together' and we worried about controlling what we can control. We were the ones playing on the field. They were coaching us and all we could do was work on our personal things and get better - bigger and stronger."
While other players put up similar stats to Taylor few did it under the constant microscope of being committed to a major program and walking around with a target on their back. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound prospect made it clear he wasn't going anywhere during an impressive run through several summer camps last year, including the RivalsChallenge and Gridiron Kings.
"It was a good thing, like I've said before, it was a great opportunity for me to have a chance to show my talent. I didn't have some of the rankings those guys did, I didn't get out to the camp circuit like they did. Once I got to compete I wanted to show everybody that I could play with the top ranked players in the nation. I just did what I did and it proved for itself," he said.
He then followed that up with a senior year that, with the exception of a state title, couldn't have gone more smoothly for an East Central team that bullied it's way to the state title game before coming up just short against fellow 5A powerhouse Carl Albert.
Regardless though, Taylor says his senior year may have been born from chaos but is something he'll never forget.
"It was a great (season). Even coming up short, I was blessed and thankful to be there and make it that far with everything going on. I mean the lack of players, we had 26 seniors and everybody playing both sides of the ball, our quarterback was the only underclassmen out there. Every part of the game, it was just something we had to do and come together and felt like we had a great senior season. I'm just thankful," Taylor confessed.
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