Next week A.J. Taylor will put his spring break to good use.
Four programs expect to host the four-star athlete from Kansas City, starting this weekend. Northwestern is up first Saturday followed by Wisconsin (Sunday), Illinois (Tuesday) and Notre Dame (Wednesday).
“I want to see what I like definitely,” Taylor said. “Even though my parents say it’s my choice I want to see how they feel about me going there, how they feel comfortable or if they’re not. I wanna be able to talk to the players and see how they like it, see how they feel it is. That’s probably the main thing. Then definitely see how they are with their academics, all of them.”
Notre Dame will get Taylor on campus again after first hosting the 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect last summer for the Irish Invasion. Since then he’s maintained contact with the coaching staff.
“We also loved how intense the fans are,” Taylor said. “There’s always like Irish Illustrated and just like how intense the fans are about it. You can tell that everybody that goes to Notre Dame or alumni of Notre Dame love it there. That’s definitely a great spot for networking. It’s a great spot to excel and make it to the league or excel and make it to a stable, well providing job.”
But no matter how Taylor feels about certain programs the plan is to keep an open mind heading into all upcoming visits, especially with new offers a possibility. There is also a plan, however, to start weighing what each program brings to the table.
“I go eyes wide open,” Taylor said. “My parents could probably attest to that because after we leave every college I’m like, ‘I’m going there.’ But I’m always open and we’re all just kinda seeing things right now. We’re definitely open to opportunities. Pretty soon we’re gonna have to narrow it down a little bit. Probably while we’re on that trip we’ll come up with a little list of positives and negatives of colleges, pros and cons, and try to differentiate from there.”
Assessing potential fit will include that on the football field as well.
Taylor said most programs are recruiting him at running back but there are some that have talked about wide receiver. He doesn’t have a major personal preference.
“Running back or receiver, either way,” Taylor said. “For as long as I can get the ball in my hands and do what I’ve been doing for the last eight or nine years then I’ll be good.”