A position Wisconsin is looking to address in its recruiting class is wide receiver, and a top target on its board is Kansas City (MO) Rochhurst junior A.J. Taylor, who made his second trip to Madison last weekend for the spring game.
“The visit was well executed by Wisconsin,” Taylor told BadgerNation. “I thought it was very informing. I learned a lot about the school and specifically more about the academic aspect of them. I also learned a lot about their plan on how they are going to try and incorporate me in their offense as a wide receiver. I thought the visit was very informative. I really liked it and enjoyed it a lot, and I can’t wait to check it out again.
“My biggest question going into Wisconsin and thinking about them was how are you going to use me as a wide receiver based on the past having a really running-back-centered offense? They said that they did, but things are changing now that we have Coach Chryst, and he really likes to implement his receivers in the game. He likes to keep very good balance.
“Coach Gilmore also said he likes two kind of wide receivers in one - a wide receiver that can spread the field with their speed and one that is more of a taller receiver. He sees me as kind of a separating guy that can run around the field and get the ball in the open field and do good things naturally. He kind of sees me as a guy that can separate.”
With this being his second time in Wisconsin, the 5-11, 185-pound speedy wide out has now taken away a few things that has caught his attention and even intrigued about the Badgers.
“I remember going the first time I really had no expectations of what Wisconsin would be like,” said Taylor. “I heard it was a very liberal town and little weird, but when I got up there it was so much different. It seemed like a very accepting place and everybody was outside walking around. You could tell it was a safe environment and wherever you looked there was someone walking, no matter how cold it was. The place has a pretty good atmosphere. I think that was one of the big things I really got out of it that I didn’t expect going into it.
“If we are talking about the football itself, I really liked their facilities. I didn’t think that they would have that nice of facilities and it would be that big and nice, but it was. I think that was a pretty cool thing that I got out of it too.”
While Taylor got the opportunity to chat it up with the coaches, he also had the chance to talk with other recruits visiting, including Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro junior quarterback Kare Lyles. Lyles committed to the Badgers in March and he preached to Taylor about the possibility of working together to achieve greatness at Wisconsin.
“Kare is a real genuine dude,” said Taylor. “He seems like a great guy, and he seems like he would be a very fine brother to play with. What he kind of pitched at me was we could do great things here, and we could have that connection off early and get it going. Him and also Antonio Williams, we could be a trio and dominate the Big Ten and make our way to a national championship. That was really cool and he seemed like a real nice guy. He really loves the game and not just cares for himself, but for everybody. He is a really good guy and wants to help the team win.”
As the No. 51 ranked wide out in the nation and a four-star recruit by Scout.com, Taylor holds additional offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern and Tulsa. Several other schools have also contacted him, but Taylor is not ready to make any sort of top list.
“I am pretty interested in Wisconsin,” said Taylor. “I am still figuring out what position I am going to play and what would be right for me, but I am pretty interested in Wisconsin and I like them. I don’t have a top list and I’m trying to figure out one, but whenever I start thinking about it a new school comes up. I don’t really have a clue on what I am going to do right now.”
Taylor hopes to check out next Nebraska in May and Missouri in early June.