For Oklahoma commit Stanvon Taylor and his Tulsa (Okla.) East Central teammates, the message was clear after Friday’s 53-31 victory at Del City, Okla.
“We’re still here,” Taylor said.
East Central, led by a new coach with no head coaching experience, is expected to be one of the most talented teams in 5A in the state. For Taylor, though, it was another message. A more personal one.
“I got to get my respect back,” Taylor said. “It was an absolute blessing to be out there again. I’ll earn that respect again.”
Almost a year ago to the day, Taylor's junior season ended just as quickly as it had began. He broke his ankle in the third quarter of the first game and never saw another snap.
He didn’t break his ankle, but he might have broken a few opponents' on Friday. Taylor finished with 183 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He also showed his versatility and threw an 18-yard touchdown.
“That was a special package that we have," Taylor said. "And I have the option that if they bite on the rollout to look to throw. I was running and saw them coming and knew he was open."
So how was the pass?
“Oh, it was on the money. It was a straight spiral into the pocket. This was a big statement for us,” Taylor said.
Here’s how the rest of OU commits fared in this weekend’s Recruiting Rewind:
Austin Bennett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel, WR): Bennett didn’t need to do much in Manvel’s 35-21 victory against Spring, Texas. He had five carries for 26 yards.
Matt Beyer (San Antonio/Reagan, OT): Beyer celebrated his 18th birthday with a 20-13 win against San Antonio Wagner on Saturday. San Antonio Reagan rushed for 221 yards in the game.
Hatari Byrd (Fresno, Calif./Central East): A lot more competitive than the first game, Fresno Central East was able to hold on for a 10-9 victory against Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty.
Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy, DE): Dimon didn’t see too much action in a 48-7 blowout victory for Katy against Klein, Texas. Dimon had four tackles and the Katy first-team defense limited Klein to 17 total yards of offense.
Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch, RB): Not the way he was hoping to start the season. Ford rushed for 48 yards, fumbled three times (losing two of them) and was ejected in the second quarter for throwing his helmet in a 34-6 loss to Katy (Texas) Cinco Ranch.
Jordan Mastrogiovanni (Dallas/Jesuit, LB): Dallas Jesuit’s Cody Wicker kicked a 28-yard field goal with :49 remaining in the fourth to give Dallas Jesuit a 30-29 lead against Chicago Loyola Academy in Dublin, Ireland. Mastrogiovanni sealed the deal with a stop on fourth-and-two with 15 seconds left.
Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union, OT/DE): Rodriguez was a beast in a 14-7 win against rival Jenks, Okla. He had two sacks, six tackles, a quarterback hurry and recovered a fumble to set up the game-winning touchdown.
“I didn’t like how last week ended [losing a scrimmage to Bentonville, Ark.],” Rodriguez said. “I want to win. All I know is winning. This was a great start, and we have to keep it up. As a defense, we feel it’s our job to put the offense in position to score. We were able to do that tonight.”
Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks, WR): Smallwood was targeted 10 times and had three catches for 32 yards and one rush for 11 yards in a 14-7 loss to rival Tulsa Union. He didn’t have a catch in the second half.
Ahmad Thomas (Miami/Central, S): Nothing went right for Miami Central. Facing the No. 1-ranked team in the country in Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, Miami Central lost 35-3.
Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage, QB): Thomas was 20 of 39 for 265 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in Colleyville Heritage’s 20-2 win at Duncanville, Texas.