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Catching Up With Stepfan Taylor
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 10/20/2010

Oct. 20, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - One of the biggest questions facing Stanford entering the 2010 season was who would replace Toby Gerhart in Stanford's backfield?

Even though the company line remains, "Nobody replaces Toby Gerhart" - sophomore Stepfan Taylor has emerged as Stanford's featured back at the halfway point of the season.

The Mansfield, Texas native leads Stanford in rushing with 482 yards on 99 carries and has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his last three games against Notre Dame (108), Oregon (113) and USC (104).

If he breaks the century mark on Saturday against Washington State, Taylor will become just the fourth back in school history to have rushed for 100-yards in four straight games, joining the likes of Darrin Nelson, Tommy Vardell and Toby Gerhart.

GoStanford.com had a chance to catch up with Stepfan recently to get his thoughts on football, campus life and being a student-athlete at Stanford.

What makes the Stanford football program unique?
I honestly think the most unique thing about the Stanford Football is that everybody gets along and the character of the players. Everybody can just sit in the locker room and laugh and joke with each other for hours. It seems like we can't leave the locker room.

What are you really talented at besides football?
I am really talented at saying "Yes mam/sir" and "No mam/sir." I've noticed since I've been in California people would prefer me not reply that way, but it is so hard for me not too. That's the way I was raised. I am also really talented at Tecmo Bowl video game on regular Nintendo.

What are you constantly working on to improve as a player?
Everything -- my speed, strength, quickness, agility and stamina. I also work hard on reading defenses and just adding more to my football IQ.

How do you manage to balance the scheduling demands of playing football and maintaining a rigorous academic schedule?
I try to get recommendations from other students around campus on certain teachers. It's important to find a teacher that best fits you because everybody learns differently.I'm also pretty good about keeping lists on my desktop on important information like readings, practices and midterms to help me stay organized.

Do you have any pre-game routines?
The only really pre-game routine I have is listening to Lil Wayne's "Skyz Tha Limit" first before letting my IPod run on shuffle.

Who has been the biggest influence in your football career?
My entire family, especially my mom, cousins, and uncle. I remember sometimes when I was young I would start second guessing myself as if I wanted to play football anymore, but they told me to be patient and control what you can control and play your best.

What do you like to do away from football?
I really like playing basketball and watching TV. I can seriously watch TV all day.

Favorite spot on campus?
Definitely my room. I can just go back and relax and watch TV.

Who has the best nickname on the team?
I would have to say me. Andrew Luck gave me the nickname "S.T. Mode." I really don't know where he got it from. He's pretty much the only one that calls me that.

What's on your IPod?
Me and a lot `Lil Wayne

What's your favorite TV show?
Right now I like the show "Everybody Hates Chris"

Favorite movie?
Waterboy

If you could trade places with any person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Rob Dyrdek, I watch his show on MTV and he seems like he has the perfect life.

If you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go and why?
I would travel back before IPods, Facebook, Google, and create similar things but something different.

Do you have any fears or phobias?
I'm not a big fan of heights, deep blue seas, and tight places.

Describe your perfect day.
I wake up and know everybody in my family is OK. Classes were cancelled for the day. Watching a marathon of "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Scare Tactics"

Toughest road stadium to play in?
Oregon's Autzen Stadium

Favorite road stadium to play in?
Oregon's Autzen Stadium

Who were your role models growing up?
My cousins were my role models. I always wanted to be with them. They taught me how to play sports and would always push me to be the best.

Who is the funniest player on the team?
My roommate -- Jamal-Rashad Patterson

What is your favorite class?
My favorite class was Sleep and Dreams

What do you miss about home?
I miss my family and the home cooked meals.

What does being part of the Stanford Football program mean to you?
It's a privilege just to be able to attend Stanford. Being part of this team is also a privilege. All the coaches and players have one common goal and that is to win. I'm here to play my role on the team and know that everybody else will, too.


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