Badger Nation

A.J. Taylor gives his Wisconsin official a perfect '10'

Committing to Wisconsin in August, Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst receiver A.J. Taylor recaps his officil visit to Wisconsin.

When asked to rank his official visit to Wisconsin, Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst three-star wide receiver A.J. Taylor responded with no hesitation: “a 10 easily.”

Not surprising, as every indication is first year head coach Paul Chryst and his staff hit a homerun with each official visitor from this past weekend’s 28-0 victory over Hawaii.

This was Taylor’s third time visiting Madison and he felt like this was his best visit yet, coming away impressed with the night atmosphere inside of Camp Randall Stadium.

“The visit was great and the game atmosphere against Hawaii was one of the coolest things I’ve seen," Taylor told BadgerNation. “The wave was cool; how they get it in slow motion was really crazy. Jump Around was a blast. Being able to experience that atmosphere with the other visitors was a blast.”

The visit allowed Taylor to get to know his future classmates and build a connection with the other visitors who are considering Wisconsin. Outside of the game, Taylor came away impressed with everything he saw on his visit as he continues to become more comfortable with the program.

“I experienced a lot and learned a little more about the campus, facilities and program,” said Taylor. “Nothing surprised me with what I learned about Wisconsin, but I was able to get a better understanding of how things operate at Wisconsin. I’ve been to Wisconsin a couple of times now and each time I’ve left I have felt a lot more comfortable with the campus and the coaches.”

Getting a chance to speak extensively with Chryst and wide receiver coach Ted Gilmore at breakfast on Sunday, he got a clear indication of the expectations waiting for him when he arrives.

“They definitely told me that I would be taking over the role by Alex Erickson at the Z, and I feel like that is a good thing; I’m excited about it,” said Taylor. “That way I can zero in on Erickson more when I watch the games as I try and model my game after him.”

Taylor feels he’s off to a good start, having taken his game forward since his junior season.

“I believe I’ve progressed in my speed since last season,” said Taylor. “Last year I would get caught a few times from behind. This year I feel like when I’ve had an opening I’ve been able to take advantage and I haven’t been ran down and I want to keep that up.”

Taylor said the only thing different between this visit compared to past experiences is that there were more visitors, as Wisconsin had a total of 10 official visitors on campus. Taylor spent a good amount of time with other commits Dallas JeantyPatrick JohnsonKare Lyles and Antonio Williams.

“At first it was a little mild but as the day progressed we got more talkative,” said Taylor. “As we started to talk more, it allowed us to get connected even more. It was good getting to know Carlos (Becker) and the other Florida players. By the end of the visit we were all pretty good friends.”

Despite having a commitment from a player in 13 different states, everyone has been able to stay connected through social media. Taylor says the group is close as they continue to strive to make the class of 2016 for Wisconsin feel like a family.

“It isn’t a firm family yet but we are starting to head in that direction and quickly,” said Taylor. “As soon as Ke'Shan Pennamon committed to Wisconsin, we all were really excited for him, as we knew he will be able to help us. We just know that Pennamon makes our class stronger and we were excited to welcome him as a Badger.”

Although Taylor and the rest of Wisconsin’s recruiting class is building the chemistry, Taylor is starting to feel that strong connection with Lyles and Williams, as those were two of the players Taylor spent most of his time with.

“Chemistry is great,” said Taylor. “I love those dudes. They are hilarious. Antonio always has something to talk about. We have a solid bond, and it is only continuing to grow after this weekend. We have different personalities but we get along real well.”

While Taylor didn’t take an active recruiting role of the uncommitted prospects, reminding them to what is best for them and find the right fit, the talk amongst the commits at the game was how they can’t wait to play college football in an environment like the one they experienced on Saturday night.

“We were talking about how we can’t wait to play college football and we all were watching our position groups,” said Taylor. “I was imagining being out there and playing in that kind of environment and just thought how cool it will be ... I can’t wait to be a Badger and plan on playing my hardest for Wisconsin and leaving everything that I have on the field.”


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