The Class of 2003 has all the signs of being a great group of student-athletes, Harold Taylor is another great addition and a teammate of new recruit DaVell Lauder. Enjoy learning a little more about Harold through this interview, I know that I did in talking to him.
DD -Harold, tell us about your Smiley HS team and this past season.
HT - My team at Smiley was the best team I could be on at the high school level. When I say this people look in amazement. No, we didn't win a lot of games but the relationships I have with the players are one in a million. I could of easily transferred to North Shore, because I live right across the street, but I didn't want to abandon a lot guys who made feel at home in Texas. As a lot of people know I moved out here from California, so I wasn't accustomed to the Texas/Houston lifestyle. They took me to parties, showed me how to talk to girls, and they showed me how to drive in these Houston streets, because Texas drivers are aggressive and they like to "BOSS HOG" people. This past season was disappointing but fun at the same time. Yes, a lot of the teams we played, we should of beat, like LaMarque, Oak Ridge, Clear Brook, Forest Brook, C.E. King and Crosby. Jasper and Dayton were just super good teams and they just out right beat us. Galena Park was a tough team because they had an incredible defense and all night that defensive end was in my face and if I got past him the safety wasn't far behind. I mean, we still did my thing but it wasn't just a walk in the park. The season overall could of been better but, sometime things like that happen for a reason.
DD - Tell us about Head Football Coach Barry Ford.
HT - He is the one man, besides my dad, that respect a lot. When Coach Ford says he's going to do something, he does it. He told me at the beginning of the year that he was going to get me into a Div 1-A school and he was going to make sure I went in as a tailback. Well, he's done it. A lot people talk to coach ford and think that his approach to the game of football is kind of old school, but old school is the best school. I remember when my RB coach went to our rival forest brook two days before the Jasper game, I was furious. I thought, well maybe he left because he didn't think I was good enough and he thought the Brook had a better RB. Coach Ford preached and preached to me and he told me that I have to show him what he's missing. Coach Ford is a cool coach even though sometimes you cant understand what he's saying, he still gets his point across.
DD -What team and what player did you find to be the most challenging?
HT - Galena Park and Jasper were the most challenging this past season. They had super athletes.
DD - What other activities/sports do you participate in currently?
HT - Right now, I'm on the track team this is my fourth year on varsity. Coach Young makes me do the relay and the 100m. If I had the say so the only thing I would do is the triple jump. That's my event. I was introduced to it in the ninth grade by my best friends Kyle Ware and Vinnie Weathers, they were long jumpers and I wasn't to good at that so they told me to do the triple jump because I have nice form, and that's how I got started on it. I've been to state only once and that was in the tenth grade I jumped a 42-6 1/2, and I was the third leg on our 4x1 team(41.03) and the first leg on the 4x4(3:16.7) team. I'm going to state in the triple jump, 4x100, and the 4x200, ain't no one going to get in our way.
DD -What hobbies or other interests do you have?
HT - i really do not have any hobbies except hanging with my boys C-Bezzy (Corey Barrett-TE), Yammy (Deandre Hamilton-QB), Montis (Harrison-CB), Big Mell (Jamell Fields-LB), and CHOPPA style (DaVell Lauder-DE). And when I'm not with them, I'm with my beautiful girlfriend, Aukirua Williams.
DD - Tell us a little about your family.
HT - My family is hilarious. My dad is like and older brother because he teaches something new everyday and he tells me what things girls like. My mother is sweet and I'm a "momma's boy". My older sister is like my best friend because we could talk to each other about anything. My little sister is a pain in my side. She's only 12 years old but she talks to people like she's 21, she cant do anything wrong, that's her attitude. My little brothers are my little boys. I teach them the basics of football, and them being twins it is twice as exciting watching them grow up. One is going to be a QB and the other a TB, that way one of them will get the ball some how.
DD - Tell us about your recruitment. What other schools recruited you? Who recruited you for UH and how did that develop?
HT - New Mexico and Baylor recruited me pretty hard but I wanted to make my way back to the west coast and attend either USC or San Diego State, but they missed out and I'm going to blow it up in all of their faces. Coach Phillips recruited me from UH. Coach Dixon (our DC) looked out for me and they came looking at me. I had no idea that they were even interested in me until about three weeks before I took my visit, I guess they were just trying to lay low for a little bit so they can see what I was going to do with them other schools.
DD -It must be a thrill to be part of Coach Briles' first class, how does it feel?
HT - It feels great being part of coach Briles' first recruiting class. The guys he is bringing in are a great group of ball players that are going to change the program, forever. Bennie Swain, Marcus Ross, Kelvin Kolb, Jeff Filmore, Donnie Avery, Davell Lauder, me, we are all great players, not only with good athletic abilities but with good personalities. The class of 2003 is going to be the class that put UH above the rest, YES, EVEN TEXAS.
DD -What was attractive to you about coming to UH?
HT - The thing that got me was the facilities. Point blank. The facilities are OFF THE HOOK.
DD -What was your recruiting visit like, what took place?
HT - The recruiting trip was great. They took us out to eat at Pappadeaux's. Then we went out to a party and, put it like this, I'm the type of guy who loves to dance and when I saw Bryant Brown and Barrick Nealy dancing I knew this is the place where I wanted to be. They haven't seen it yet, but when I go to another party with them I'm going to C-WALK, not no imitation C-WALK, but the real California style C-WALK.
DD -Do you want to play right away or would you prefer to redshirt?
HT - I WOULD LOVE TO PLAY MY FIRST YEAR, only because people tell me I can't do it. I've been proving people wrong my whole life and I don't plan on stopping it. If I redshirt, then I redshirt. It will give me time to get stronger, faster, and I could learn the program better, but it really doesn't matter because when I get the opportunity to play I'm going to take somebody's spot.
DD -What are your current physical attributes (height, weight, 40-time)?
HT - Right now, I'm 6'0, 192 and my last time in the 40 was a 4.43 and that was during the season. I know I'm faster now that I'm in the swing of track season.
DD - Tell us about your teammate DaVell Lauder.
HT - CHOPPA STYLE. That's DaVell's nickname. He's a hard worker. There have been times when I've been too tired to work out but he'll jump on me so fast I will be practically forced to go through with the workouts. He's also a party animal, like myself, and he know how to make the best out of every thing.
DD -Do you have anything that you would like to tell the CoogFans out there?
HT - Be on the look out for the class of 2003. We are promising to bring new excitement to a program rich in tradition.
Harold, thank you for letting the CoogFans get to know a little about you.
From left: Bennie Swain, DaVell Lauder, Harold Taylor, Marcus Ross, Gerard Price, Donnie Avery and Jeff Fillmore.
Eat ‘Em Up!