"Sometimes You Have to Be the Change": Four-Star Bobby Taylor Considering HBCU's
HOUSTON – It was 1972 and Robert Taylor was attending Texas Southern University when he won a gold and silver medal at the Olympics that summer.
Nearly 50 years later, Katy High School cornerback Bobby Taylor – the grandson of Robert – has received an offer to play at his grandfather's alma mater. The offer came the same day of Bobby sending this tweet.
"Sometimes you have to be the change," Taylor wrote on his personal Twitter account. "HBCU's [where you at?]."
HBCU is an acronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and today, there are more than 100 public and private schools that have earned the HBCU designation from the United States Department of Education.
In Texas, Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern and Texas Southern – Thurgood Marshall School of Law are four-year public colleges, while St. Phillip's College is a two-year public college. In the private college realm, Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College, Paul Quinn College, Southwestern Christian College, Texas College and Wiley College meet the criteria.
"My grandfather he was one of the best to do it when it came to track and field. Him taking his talents to a HBCU, I know it's a different age now. Everybody wants to go to the big DI schools like Alabama, LSU, Ohio State. But eventually we have to get back to the HBCU's.
"If one person can kick it off, I'm pretty sure a few other guys would follow. I'm considering a HBCU heavily, because if I can be that one person to set it off and have everybody else follow, that'd be big."
Recently, HBCU's have made their way into national headlines when it comes to recruiting.
On July 3, five-star hoops prospect Makur Maker committed to Howard (an HBCU) over UCLA – a historic Power 5 basketball program. This move sent shockwaves through the recruiting landscape.
"I'm pretty sure that took the nation by storm," Taylor said about Maker's decision. "Everybody knows him nationwide because of that decision. It takes a sacrifice because I know some HBCU's don't have the facilities, stadiums or connections as everybody else at the big DI's. But if you go there and play and ball out, anything is possible."
On the football field, Korey Foreman – the No. 1 player in the Class of 2021 – included Howard amongst his Top 7 schools (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, Howard, and USC) on July 9.
Could Bobby Taylor be the next national recruit to join the growing trend?
"I most definitely see a trend," Taylor said. "I feel like once that one person does it, I feel like it could start a ripple effect."
On July 5, Taylor – a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports.com – released his Top 12, which included Arizona State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, USC, Florida State, Arkansas, Auburn and Baylor.
Since his tweet, Texas Southern and Southern University (Both HBCU's) have thrown their hats in the ring for the talented cornerback.
Before Taylor exploded onto the recruiting scene – which he now has 25 offers and counting – he attended a TSU Junior Day as a freshman. Taylor remembered back to that day when they didn't offer him because they knew he would be big-time.
"Now that I am, it feels good to be able to reach out to them and say I'm interested," Taylor said.
When asked on a scale of 1 to 10, where he would gauge his interest in considering a HBCU, Taylor said it would be around a six or seven.
"When I do narrow my list down from the 12 to a seven or five, I could definitely see myself having at least one HBCU on that list," Taylor said.
Playing for a blue-chip program wouldn't come as a surprise to any.
Bobby's father played for Notre Dame – after a successful high school career at Longview High School – before heading into the NFL. But considering a HBCU is high on his list, Taylor said because he wants to "be the change".
"If I do commit to a HBCU, of course I want to better their facilities," Taylor said. "If we can get some of the better players to commit to an HBCU and say we do go to the NFL from there we could give back. Put back into their facilities and make sure that everybody else's opportunity just gets better and get the same opportunity they would if they did go to a big DI school."
Looking forward, Taylor said he would release a Top 7 or Top 5 entering his senior year, once he is done athletically and academically with his junior campaign.
Could a HBCU be in that mix? We will just have to wait and see.