Commitment Impact - A.J. Taylor

Arguably the top wide receiver Wisconsin's coaching staff targeted in 2016, Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst senior A.J. Taylor made their efforts worthwhile when officially announced his commitment to the Badgers Saturday. What kind of player is UW getting? BadgerNation breaks down his impact.

Committed Over: Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst A.J. Taylor committed to Wisconsin over other from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Yale and others.

Rated: Taylor is a three-star prospect and ranked the No.99 receiver in the country by Scout.com.

On Film: First and foremost, Wisconsin is getting a high-quality student-athlete from a great family. That can never be ignored, and though not a predictor of success, it can only help.

He's probably the top all-around athlete among prospects in Missouri. He doesn't have super top-end speed but does possess great acceleration and burst in short spaces. Taylor also isn't the biggest offensive weapon you will find, but he is compact and built very solidly. Strength shouldn't be an issue, especially after a few years in the strength and conditioning program.

He'll begin as a receiver in Madison, and since he lacks height and length, I would imagine he plays more in the slot. In that role he could have more of the field to play with, play in space, make people miss, and let those skills shine through. Those are his best assets. He's a natural at catching the ball with his hands, and snatching it out of the air, an underrated skill in today's game. – Midlands Recruiting Analyst Derek Young

Recruiting Impact: Along with cornerback, wide receiver was one of the few remaining positions Paul Chryst had yet to fill in the 2016 recruiting class. Not only did he check off the first box with one of the top receivers in the Midlands, Chryst and his staff could add a second piece in the next 24 hours.

Hallandale (FL) High receiver Demari Simpkins listed the Badgers as his clear-cut leaders less than two weeks ago, which was before he visited campus. He called that visit “unbelievable.” He visited his other favorite, Utah, Thursday. He'll decide tomorrow between the Badgers and the Utes.

Wisconsin also has to feel good about where they sit with Columbus (OH) Walnut Ridge three-star prospect Malik Harrison and Flossmoor (IL) Homewood two-star prospect Kendric Pryor. Harrison visited Madison last week and Pryor stopped in June. Both have UW among their top schools.

Quotable: “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.” – Taylor

Final Thought: Chryst and Wisconsin continue to hit numerous areas around the United States, as Taylor is the 11th commit from a different state. That having been said, nine of the committed prospects are coming from the Midwest, which Chryst has said on numerous occasions is the backbone of his program. Taylor – who had over 1,400 all-purpose yards last season - fits the hybrid role that many schools employ and Wisconsin covets. His elusiveness, playmaking ability and ability to make people miss make him dangerous in space with the ball. He’s just the kind of athlete who could do big things in Chryst’s offense.


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