Stanford Football

Stepfan Taylor: Getting to Know Stanford's Latest Heisman Contender

Stepfan Taylor
Stepfan TaylorEzra Shaw/Getty Images
Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterSeptember 28, 2012

Stanford has had some great athletes who have never won the Heisman. 

Remember Toby Gerhart? The Cardinal running back was the second-leading rusher in 2009 with an average of over 150 rushing yards per game. Alabama's Trent Richardson impressed the Heisman voters more. 

In 2010, Andrew Luck was one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the country. He looked like a lock for the Heisman, but along came Auburn's Cam Newton and Luck lost out.

Luck came back for another year at Stanford and was the favorite for the Heisman, but Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III came on strong late in the year and Luck went home empty-handed. 

The Cardinal can't catch a break, it seems. 

Perhaps it's because no one is watching Stanford's games. The Cardinal play on a Thursday night this week, and chances are not a lot of fans will watch. It's a shame, because Stepfan Taylor is the quintessential running back. 

He can run inside. He can run outside. He can catch the ball in open field. He's the perfect all-purpose yardage back. 

Taylor's field awareness and vision are phenomenal. Recognizing when a hole will open up and hitting it at the right time takes a special talent. It's not always speed that matters, although Taylor hits his holes fast and is hard to bring down. He's also got breakaway speed in the flat. 

The 5'11", 215-pound running back has had two consecutive 1,000-plus yardage seasons. Not a lot of hype was made over Taylor before this season started because it was assumed that the Cardinal would drop a notch after losing Luck and two offensive key linemen in David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin; all three were taken in the first two rounds of the 2012 NFL draft.  

Taylor is erasing all doubts. He destroyed USC two weeks ago. 

Will Heisman voters notice? 

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices