Sam Webb: I have to start off by asking, how did you get the name Taco?
Taco Charlton: “I was about to be born premature and my grandmother sent my mom letters saying, ‘don’t let him come down south.’ She used to always sign her letters taco because Taco Bell was really becoming popular. So when I came out, the nickname that they gave me was Taco and I’ve had it ever since.”
Sam Webb: What is your given name?
Taco Charlton: “Vidauntae.”
Sam Webb: Now let’s talk about your game. Take me through last year. How did things go during your freshman campaign?
Taco Charlton: “Last year was about learning a lot. My freshman year, I played a little bit. I was behind Wuan Tatum. There were a couple of games where he was out because he was hurt so I got to play. Last year was more of a learning thing and then toward the end of the year I really started progressing and doing real good in the games and making a huge impact. Then I got a couple of offers.
Sam Webb: We know you a 6’8” guy. How much you weigh now?
Taco Charlton: “245.”
Sam Webb: Pretend for a second you’re a scout or you’re a coach in the stands and you’re watching yourself on the football field, so take you outside of your box a little bit and sort of break down your game and give me a scouting report?
Taco Charlton: “Right now, I’m real good at pass rushing. I would say my strength is mostly pass rushing. I can get on the quarterback fast. My stop against the run is coming along. I’m starting to do good against that too. Obviously, I’m going to work.Whatever I can do to get better, I’m going to do it. If something makes me better I’m going to do it, period. I’m just trying to be a great player and do the best I can.”
Sam Webb: When is the last time you ran a 40, what is your 40 time?
Taco Charlton: “Maybe a 4.7, high 4.7, low 4.8.”
Sam Webb: What schools have offered you scholarships so far?
Sam Webb: Those are obviously a few of the schools showing interest in you. What are the schools that you’re most interested in at this point?
Taco Charlton: “Right now I’m just talking to the coaches. I’m not really having one school ahead of no other like that. I like schools that become interested in me earl. I always favor them because they showed me love early. I know they had confidence in me turning out to be a great player, so I like that a lot.”
Sam Webb: So what schools have you taken to visits to already?
Taco Charlton: “I took a visit to University of Cincinnati last year against Oklahoma. Then I took another visit with my wide receiver, Roger Lewis. He is committed to Ohio State. We took a visit down there some time last spring. Then I went to Ohio State to a camp and talked to their coaches. I really haven’t got the chance to go on a couple other visits that I was supposed.”
Sam Webb: Is he putting Ohio State your ear a little bit?
Taco Charlton: “Me and Roger are close. We always hang out and everything. I go pick him up for practice sometimes. He knows how I feel about stuff. We did want to play at the same house together, but we got to go where we fit best.”
Sam Webb: Were you a fan of any particular program growing up?
Taco Charlton: “When I was a little kid, where I grew up people were Ohio State fans, so I was always feeling that. But the when I started looking for schools to go with, I figured it really wasn’t about my favorite school, it was about what fit me best as a player.”
Sam Webb: Would you say most of your family members are Buckeye fans?
Taco Charlton: “Some of my family is diehard Buckeyes fans, but some of my family loves Michigan.”
Sam Webb: I see you’re heading up to Michigan for the Notre Dame game this weekend?
Taco Charlton: “Yeah, my dad was looking for a hotel, but I think I’ll be able to come down for the game with Notre Dame.”
Sam Webb: When did you start corresponding with Michigan?
Taco Charlton: “I really started to talk to them last week. I officially became a junior on September 1st so they could talk to me. I was talking to Coach Singletary on Facebook and he asked me to come down for a visit. That is a great game that I wanted to see. I wanted to check out Michigan because I’ve been talking to Tamani Carter about it.”
Sam Webb: What is your relationship like with Tamani?
Taco Charlton: “I was real cool with Tamani. We used to talk and everything. We used to always talk when he was on the team. He is a good teammate. I love Tamani. He is like a brother.”
Sam Webb: So tell me your thoughts on Michigan at this point. What do you know about Michigan and what do you think about the Wolverines right now?
Taco Charlton: “I like Michigan a lot. My dad likes them a lot. It is a great school and a great atmosphere to be there. I know they crazy about their football, so that’s always good. They put a lot of people to go pro and so that is what I like about it too.”
Sam Webb: Let’s talk recruiting in general. When you get ready to sit down and make your decision, whenever that is, what are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?
Taco Charlton: “Basically how I feel comfortable at that school. I got to go somewhere where I know I can stay there for three to four years no problem, feel comfortable. How I fit in the coaching style, am I going to play a lot… things like that. Basically, also if I have input where my family feels like I should go and stuff like that too.”
Sam Webb: Give me a list of schools that we haven’t mentioned that you’re really considering.
Taco Charlton: “I’m considering any school around Ohio. I’ve heard from Purdue, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa, all the Big Ten, West Virginia… schools that are close to home. Then also schools that are close to California because we have family there too. I’ve been talking to UCLA and Cal. I’ve even got a couple of letters from USC. That’s a lot of schools out there that I’m thinking about.”
Sam Webb: Have you given any thought to a timeline for how you would like to have this play out?
Taco Charlton: “My dad said he wanted me to do it sometime before going into my senior year. We’re not really rushing it. We going to make sure it’s a good process and I do the right thing and I make the right decision. It is not going to be rushed, but we’re going to try to do it as soon as possible.”