O-D Bowl: Taiwan Deal

One of three Wisconsin commits competing in the Offense-Defense Bowl, Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic tailback Taiwan Deal is preparing to compete in the Badgers' backfield next season.

APOPKA, Fla.- It was quite the senior season for Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic tailback Taiwan Deal. Not only did the Wisconsin commit rack up multiple individual awards after the season, he went out on top with a state title.

What made those successes even more impressive was that the three-star tailback expected those things to come his way.

"My expectations were to win a championship as a team and that's all I wanted," said Deal. "We did that and on top of winning state, I received a lot of individual recognition, and I was real proud of myself for that."

Since Deal's season ended he was named first-team Gazette, first-team all-conference in the WCAC and first-team All-Metro by the Washington Post. His crowning achievement was being named the Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year after he rushed for over 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns, perhaps the only award he didn't except.

"I was surprised when I won it," said Deal. "I felt like I worked really hard during the season and helping lead my team to the championship game, and getting it done. I have to thank my team and it was a team effort. They helped me win the Maryland State Player of the Year and I'm thankful for that."

Deal just wrapped up participating in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Orlando, taking advantage of the extra practice time so he can step foot on the Wisconsin campus ready to compete.

"Me being a two-year running back there's still plenty for me to work and improve on," Deal said. "Footwork, strength and vision are all areas where I can improve on and I feel like I have been I just have to keep at it."

The first of two running backs in the Badgers' recruiting class when he committed in June, Deal – ranked the No.42 tailback in the country by Scout.com - picked the Badgers in part due to his great relationship with running backs coach Thomas Hammock. Not only have the pair continues to build their relationship, Deal is anxious to work with Hammock and compete for playing time.

"He's a wonderful guy, I like him as a person," Deal said. "We have some really good talks but when I get there he expects me to be the back who can take a pounding and pick up the tough yards a long with taking a lot of reps.

"I'm looking forward in to coming in and competing, working hard and to show that I belong. I want to show what I can do as a player and try to get onto the field."

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