After spending a year playing Junior College football in San Francisco, Rob Taylor is back on a Division 1 football roster, one that looks to be a threat this season in the Pac-12, Washington State. In this interview, we discuss his decision to sign with the Cougars, the environment in Pullman, and more:
By: Peter Elliott – NFL, MLB, and NCAA writer – @PelliottSports
Peter Elliott: What was it like when you inked those papers on National Signing Day?
Rob Taylor: It was a real blessing! To see the smile on my mom’s face made it even better. All the hard work we put in as a family finally paid off.
PE: Why did you sign with Washington State over Purdue and West Virginia?
RT: After taking my visit, it felt just like home. I really like the coaches and see the change they’re making in this program. [Defensive Coordinator and Secondary] Coach [Alex] Grinch was huge in this process. I really trust in him and his scheme and how he wants me to play. His immediate impact on the defense showed this year and is something [I wanted] to be a part of. Also, having a chance to go to school and play with my cousin Suli [Hameed] helped out a lot and [gave] the chance to be in the same defensive backfield with him and [WSU Safety] Shalom [Luani].
PE: Are you willing to compete for a starting job in your freshman season?
RT: Yes sir, that’s the plan! I can’t wait to get out there!
PE: What did you like of the Pullman campus when you visited?
RT: I liked how it is a college town, so everybody that lives there is pretty much involved with the school. It also had a great environment, and everyone is behind their sports team up there. Wazzu has great fans!
PE: Who on the coaching staff have you talked to so far?
RT: I’ve talked to all the coaches, but the ones who I speak actively on a daily basis are Coach Grinch, [Running Backs] Coach [Jim] Mastro, [Linebackers] Coach [Ken] Wilson, and [Defensive Line and Assistant] Coach [Joe] Salave’a.
PE: You were the punt returner at City College of San Francisco. Do you want to return punts for the Cougars?
RT: Yup, that is something myself and the coaches have talked about before! I am looking forward to that as well.
PE: Why did you transfer from UC Davis to CC of San Francisco?
RT: Coming out of high school, I was under-recruited and felt I could play at a higher level. I wasn’t happy there, so having talked to my mom and my family, we felt it would be best to take a chance on myself and try to get my recruiting process started again!
PE: How did CC of San Francisco change your football career?
RT: It gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent on a different platform, and it helped elevate my game as well as with the great coaches they have there. There is no better place to play Junior College ball!
PE: What is one quality you possess as an athlete that you’d like people to know you have?
RT: Work ethic and versatility!
PE: What NFL player do you mold your game after or look up to?
RT: I would have to say Tyrann Mathieu. He’s the perfect example of the football player I’d like to be. You can put him anywhere on the field and he’ll make plays, and he also plays way bigger than his size, so if there’s one [player], it’s him.
PE: Is there anything you would like to say to WSU fans?
RT: I’m excited and looking forward to being a part of the Palouse. Cougar Nation is in store for a treat these next couple of years!
My thanks to Rob Taylor for a fantastic interview! Give him a follow on Twitter @Runitback_Rob.